Chapter Eight: Cognition
Cognition are those thought processes and mental activities, including attention,
memory, concept formation, and problem solving, that are evident from early
Theories of cognitive development:
Saw himself as a genetic epistemologist, a scholar who was interested in
the origins of knowledge from a developmental perspective.
Promoted the idea that human thinking is characterized by adaptation
and organization. Children actively construct their knowledge of the
world, incorporating new information into existence, schemas, by
assimilation and accommodation.
Children develop in stages; sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete
operational and formal operational.
Development is domain-general as in it is not tied to knowledge about
any specific content.
Piaget: Sensorimotor stage,
Birth to two years, thought is based primarily on action.
Actions become increasingly goal directed and aimed at problem solving.
Able to distinguish self from environment and learns about the properties
of objects and how they are related to one another.
Object permanence refers to the realization that objects exist even when
they are within view.
The completion of this stage is signaled by deferred imitation, or the
ability to imitate a model that is no longer present. (example: when a child
mimics the temper tantrum displayed by another infant the day before).
Piaget: Preoperational stage,
Two to seven years, thought becomes symbolic in form.
Semiotic function is the child’s ability to use a symbol, object or a word to
stand for something.
In this stage, children are thought of as egocentric or the child is unable to
separate his own perspective from those of others. They lack the logical
thought structures necessary to reason accurately.
Conservation tasks require the child to make judgments about the
equivalence of two displays.
Children display centration, the tendency for the child to focus on only one
aspect of a problem.
Piaget: Concrete operational stage,
Seven to eleven years, thought is logical when stimuli are physically
present. Can now see conservation tasks correctly. The child can now perform
operations or mental actions such as reversibility.
Piaget: Formal operational stage,
Eleven to fifteen years, thought is abstract and hypothetical.
The child can reason hypothetically or she can generate potential solutions
to problems in a thoroughly systematic fashion.
Child is more aware of idealism.
All about culture. The concept of scaffolding is a way of thinking about the social
relationship involved in learning from another person. Temporary structure that
gives the support necessary to accomplish a task.
Zone of proximal development is the span or disparity between what
children are able to do without the assistance of others and what they are
often able to accomplish by having someone more expert assist them at
The mind has limited space and resources.
Mental processes are broken down into encoding, storage and retrieval
Multistore models posit several mental structures through which
information flows. Control processes are mental activities that move
information from one s