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Cognitive Development 1

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1 Cognitive Development 1
Chapter 6: Cognitive Development 1 Structure and Process

2 Piaget’s Basic Ideas How does the child’s knowledge change with age?
Central assumption: the child is an active participant in the development of knowledge, constructing his own understanding

3 Schemes Synonym for Concept; Mental Category; or Complex of Ideas
Scheme is the action of categorizing in some particular fashion E.g. Pick up a ball and look at it As people act on their environments, an inborn mental process called organization causes them to derive generalizable schemes from specific experiences E.g. when a infant handles a ball, the scheme she constructs will apply to similar objects Schemes organize our thinking according to categories that help us determine what kinds of actions to take in response to variation in environmental characteristics Three sub-processes: assimilation, accommodation and equilibration

4 Assimilation and Accommodation
Assimilation is the process of taking in, of absorbing some event or experience and making it part of a scheme E.g. Babies would handle glass balls in the same way they handle rubber balls The process complementary to assimilation is accommodation, which involves changing a scheme as a result of new information taken in by assimilation E.g. Slipperiness of glass ball compared to rubber ball will help the baby to accommodate her ball handling scheme

5 Equilibration Equilibration is the process of bringing assimilation and accommodation into balance When new research finding come along for scientists, they assimilates them into theories, if they don’t fit, scientists will make modification (accommodation) in the theory E.g. Self-made road map Three important equilibration in childhood (18 months; age 5-7; adolescence) Operation is a complex, internal, abstract scheme first seen at about age of 6

6 Equilibration Sensorimotor Stage - Birth to 18 month
- uses sensory and motor schemes to act on the world around Preoperational Stage - 18 month to 6 years old - acquires symbolic schemes such as language Concrete Operations Stage - 6 to 12 years old - begins to think logically Formal Operations Stage - thinks logically about abstract ideas and hypothetical situations

7 Causes of Cognitive Development
The process of equilibration is an inborn, automatic response to conflicts between a child’s current scheme and challenges of environment Social transmission is the information the child gets from other people E.g. names and characteristics of objects Experience means the child’s own opportunity to act on the world and observe the result of these actions E.g. Sand castle don’t hold together

8 Infancy – Sensorimotor Period
Substage Age Piaget’s Label Characteristics 1 Birth -1 month Reflexes Sucking or looking; no imitation; no ability to take-in information 2 1-4 months Primary Circular Reactions Accommodation of basic schemes Beginning coordination of schemes from different sense (e.g. looking forward a sound) 3 4-8 months Secondary Circular Reactions Becomes more aware of events outside of body, and make them happen again Beginning understanding of the object concept 4 8-12 months Coordination of secondary schemes Clear intentional means-ends behavior Combines two or more scheme (e.g. knock a pillow away to reach a toy) 5 12-18 months Tertiary circular reactions Experimentation begins Tries out new ways of playing with toys 6 18-24 months Beginning of representational thought Development of use of symbols to represent object or events. Child understands that the symbol is separate from the object. Deferred imitation first occurs at this stage

9 Challenges to Piaget’s View
Of Infancy Memory - Research shows that habituation and dis-habituation are already present at birth (chapter 3) - A series of clever studies by Carolyn Rovee-Collier Imitation - Piaget’s view argues that imitation of babies emerge gradually over early months - Studies show newborns are able to imitate at least some facial gestures, particular tongue (pg. 156)

10 Piaget’s View of the Preoperational Stage
Use of symbol in the behaviour of children aged 2 to 6. (e.g. children this age begin to pretend in their play) Egocentrism is a cognitive state in which the individual (typically a child) sees the world only from his own perspective, without awareness that there are other perspectives Conservation is the understanding that the quantity or amount of a substance remains the same even when there are external changes in its shape or arrangement

11 Piaget’s View of the Preoperational Stage
Piaget insists that children don’t change their self center view until 5 or 6 Piaget insists that children rarely exhibit a true understanding of conservation before age 5 or 6

12 Video #1

13 Challenges to Piaget’s View
Of Early Childhood Egocentrism and Perspective Taking - Children as young as 2 and 3 appear to have at least some ability to understand that another person sees things or experiences things differently than they do - E.g. Adapt play and speech methods Appearance and Reality - False belief principle is the understanding that another person might have a false belief and the ability to determine what information might cause the false belief - E.g. Rock and Sponge

14 Theories of Mind Theory of mind is the ideas that collectively explain other people’s ideas, beliefs, desires, and behaviour Understanding Thoughts, Desires, and Beliefs - Young babies understand the fact that people operate with goals and intentions - Age3 →link between people’s thinking and feeling - E.g. Knows a person who wants something will get it - Age 6 →knowledge can be derived through interference - E.g. Toy Test - Age 5 – 7 → develops the reciprocal nature of thought - E.g. Social skills

15 Theories of Mind Influences on Theory of Mind Development
- A child’s theory of mind is correlated with his performance on conservation tasks, egocentrism and understanding of appearance and reality. - Sibling advantage - Language skills (e.g. knowledge of words for feelings, desires and thoughts) - Want, need, think, and remember are also related to theory of thought

16 False Belief and Theory of
Mind Across Cultures Develops between ages 3 and 5 Children from different cultures seem to understand something general about the difference between appearance and reality E.g. Mango seed test by Jeremy Avis and Paul Harris Certain aspects of theory of mind development may be universal

17 Alternative Theories of Early
Childhood Thinking Neo-Piagetian Theories - A theory of cognitive development that assumes that Piaget’s basic ideas are correct but that use concepts from information-processing theory to explain children’s movement from one stage to the next - Short-term storage space (STSS) is defined as working memory capacity - Operational efficiency is the maximum number of schemes an individual can place into working memory at one time - Operation efficiency can be improved by maturation and practice - E.g. Matrix Classification

18 Alternative Theories of Early
Childhood Thinking Vygotsky`s Socio-Cultural Theory - Group learning processes are central to cognitive development - Social interaction is required for cognitive development - Zone of proximal development and Scaffolding - Specific stages: Primitive Stage - Infant processes mental processes that are similar to those of lower animals Naive psychology stage Learns to use language to communicate Still doesn`t understand symbolic character (e.g. sound) Egocentric Speech Stage - Uses language as a guide to solve problems Ingrowth Stage Final period of cognitive development Develops language skills and interact with environment

19 Video #2

20 The School-Aged Child A great leap forward occurs when the child discovers or develops a set of immensely powerful, abstract, general rules or strategies for examining and interacting with the world Concrete Operations

21 Piaget’s view of concrete
Operations Reversibility - One of the most critical of the operations Piaget identified as part of the concrete operations period - physical and mental operations can be reversed - E.g. Clay made sausage can also be made back to a rock - Class inclusion is the principle that subordinate classes of objects are included in super ordinate classes - Inductive logic is reasoning from the general to particular, from a rule to an expected instance or from a theory to a hypothesis, characteristic of formal operational thinking

22 Piaget’s view of concrete
Operations Horizontal Decalage - Piaget’s term for school aged children’s inconsistent performance on concrete operations tasks - Decalage = shift - Same kind of thinking (concrete operational logic) - E.g. 9 years old can solve basic math problems (6+2=4+4) - However, the 9 years old may not be able to apply the same concrete operational logic to problems such as where is my bagpack

23 A Different Approach to Concrete Operational Thought
Robert Siegler showed that individuals may use a wide variety type of rules and methods to solve the same problem Min strategy is a more sophisticated rule in which the child starts with the larger number and then adds the smaller numbers Decomposition strategy involves dividing problems into simpler ones With the increase of age, children will use more difficult methods to solve a problem with less time Piaget’s concept of constructivism → children are active thinkers, constantly trying to construct new strategies and more advanced understandings Siegler → children will continue to construct new strategies even when they know the exact answer

24 Piaget’s view of formal
Operations Systematic Problem Solving - One important feature of formal operational thinking - The string test - Children will figure out more different combinations of length, weight, force and height in an inefficient way - An adolescent using formal operational thinking is likely to be more organized, attempting to vary just one of the four factors at a time

25 Piaget’s view of formal
Operations Logic - Hypothetico-deductive reasoning is Piaget’s term for the form of reasoning that is part of formal operational thought and involves not just deductive logic but also the ability to consider - E.g. “If all people are equal, then you and I must be equal” - Concrete operational child can be inductive reasoning → arrive at a conclusion based on experience - The preoperational child will slowly move away from egocentrism and be able to view things from physical or emotional perspectives of others - For many adolescents, hypothetico-deductive thinking leads to an outlook called navie idealism

26 Video #3

27 Post-Piagetian Work on
Adolescent Thought Confirms Piaget’s point of view Formal Operations and Adolescent Decision Making - Teenager’s new cognitive abilities alter the ways in which they go about making decision - Older = longer vision decisions - Expertise - Experiences Culture and Formal Operational Thinking - Formal operational thinking is found more often in teenagers and adult in the western world - Advanced technology and more complex life style

28 Development of Information
Processing Skills Memory is not a mental tape recorder, it is a constructive process Constructive memories can be made more vivid and our confidence in their veracity increase, by repetition Important event trends to maintain in our memory longer than less important events

29 Capacity and efficiency
Changes in processing Capacity and efficiency In human memory system, the limiting factor is the short term memory Short term memory increases as the brain and nervous system developing in early life E.g. children can remember longer list of numbers, letters or words Processing efficiency increases steadily with age Over time, the brain and nervous system change physically in some fundamental way that allows increase in both response speed and mental processing Automaticity is the ability to recall information from long term memory without effort E.g. 7 x 7 = 49

30 Metamemory and Metacognition
Metamemory is knowledge about one’s own memory process Metacognition is general and rather loosely used term describing knowledge of one’s own thinking processes By age 4, a child understands that there is a process called thinking that people do and that is distinct from knowing or talking By age 7 or 8, a child can figure out that their own and other people’s thinking go on constantly and follow certain rule Metacognition is critical for learning how to read E.g. as a child learn how to read, he needs to recognize the words he knows and the words he doesn’t know

31 Memory Strategies Rehearsal
Strategy Description Rehearsal Involves either mental or vocal repetition or repetition of movement May be used by children under 2 years old Clustering Grouping ideas, objects, or words into clusters to help in remembering them Benefit from experience with a particular subject or activity Elaboration Finding shared meanings or a common referent for two or more things to be remembered Not used spontaneously by all individuals and is not used skillfully until fairly late in development Systematic Searching Scanning the memory for the whole domain in which something might be found Begin from age 3 or 4 when children start to search for actual objects in the real world but are not good at doing this in memory

32 The End Thank you

33 Discussion #1 Do you have a strategy that best helps you remember things? If so, what is it. If not, which of the four strategies in the book best fit you?

34 Discussion #2 How does culture influence a child’s mind development?

35 Discussion #3 Age changes the way we think and our vision towards life. Do you agree or disagree?

36 Discussion #4 What changes do you see between a pre-school child and a school-aged child? How does school affect the development of a child’s brain and the way he thinks?

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