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Chapter 6

Child And Adolescent Development Chapter 6 Notes - 4.0ed this course

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PSY 230
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Chapter 6: Theories of Cognitive Development 6.1-Setting the Stage-Piaget’s Theory: • Basic Principles of Piaget’s Theory: o According to Piaget, assimilation occurs when new experiences are readily incorporated into a child’s existing theories o Accommodation occurs when a child’s theories are modified based on experience o When disequilibrium occurs, children reorganize their theories to return to a state of equilibrium, a process that Piaget called equilibration o Children construct theories that reflect their understanding of the word. Children’s theories are based on their experiences o When accommodation becomes much more frequent than assimilation, it is a sign that children’s theories are inadequate, so children reorganize them. This reorganization produces four different stages of mental development from infancy through adulthood o All people go through all four phases, but not necessarily at the same rate • Stages of Cognitive Development: o The sensorimotor stage spans birth to 2 years, a period during which the infant progresses from simple reflex actions to symbolic processing o Understanding that objects exist independently is called object permanence  Infants adapt to explore their environment, understand objects, and begin to use symbols o The preoperational stage, which spans from ages 2-7, is marked by the child’s use of symbols to represent objects and events o Egocentrism refers to young children’s difficulty in seeing the world from another’s viewpoint o Animism- preoperational children sometimes create inanimate objects with life and lifelike properties o Children often concentrate on one aspect of a problem but totally ignore the other and equally relevant aspects. Centration is Piaget’s term for this narrowly focused though that characterizes preparation youngsters o In the concrete operational stage (7-11) children first use mental operations to solve problems and to reason o Mental operations are strategies and rules that make thinking more systematic and more powerful  Children begin to use and can reverse mental operations to solve perspective-taking and conservation problems o In the formal operational stage, which extends roughly from age 11 into adulthood, children and adolescents apply mental operations to abstract entities. They think hypothetically and reason deductively. o The ability to draw appropriate conclusions from facts is known as deductive reasoning. Conclusions are based on logic, not experience • Piaget’s Contributions to Child Development: o Among Piaget’s enduring contributions are emphasizing the importance of cognitive processes in development, viewing children as active participants in their own development, and discovering many counterintuitive developmental phenomena o Constructivism- the view that children are active participants in their own development who systematically construct ever-more sophisticated understandings of their world o The theory’s weaknesses include poorly defined mechanisms of change and an inability to account for variability in children’s performance 6.2- Modern Theories of Cognitive Development • The Sociocultural Perspective: Vygotsky’s Theory: o Cognition develops first in a social setting and only gradually comes under the child’s independent control o According to sociocultural perspective, children are products of their culture: children’s cognitive development is not only brought about by social interaction, it is inseparable from the cultural contexts in which children live o For Vygotsky
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