Cognitive Development: Broad Theories and Approaches.
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Cognitive Development: Broad Theories and Approaches
4 Theories of Cognitive Development 1.Piagetian Theory 2.Information Processing Theories 3.Core-Knowledge Theories 4.Sociocultural Theories
Cognitive vs. Social Development Cognitive Development ~ development of perception, attention, language, problem solving, reasoning, memory, and conceptual understanding Social Development ~ development of emotions, personality, family and peer relationships, self-understanding, aggression, and moral understanding.
Piagetian Theory: Child as Scientist He offered a constructivist theory (the active child)--child is motivated to learn does not need rewards to do so. Saw children as generating hypotheses, performing experiments, and drawing conclusions
3 Processes Assimilation = translate new info into a form you already have/understand Accommodation = When this new info doesn’t fit you need to restructure your “theories” Equilibration = balancing assimilation and accommodation to create stable understanding
Piaget’s stage theory pre-operational sensori-motor formal operations concrete operations 10-13yr0-2 yr2-6 yr7-10 yr
Sensorimotor Stage (birth - 2 years) [No need to know specific substages] Begin with simple reflexes and sensory-motor skills and through assimilation/accommodation learned (theory is weak on HOW such concepts were acquired) *Over this stage infants increase their ability to hold mental representations Infants live largely in the present --“out of sight, out of mind”
Object Permanence Piaget claimed that until 8 mths of age infants did not understand object permanence--that objects continue to exist even when they are out of view (e.g. failed to reach under cloth for toy that was just hidden) BUT…
Deferred Imitation Deferred imitation is the repetition of other people’s behavior after a delay Occurs around 18-24 mths Evidence of persisting mental reps.
Preoperational Stage (ages 2 - 7) They acquire symbolic representation-- the ability to see one thing to stand for another (e.g. seen in their pretend play and in their language acquisition). Scale model studies
Preoperational Stage (ages 2 - 7) viewed by Piaget as only being able to focus on one aspect of an event of problem--even when multiple aspects are important Centration: Centering attention on one dimension.
Preoperational Stage (ages 2 - 7) Children in this stage are viewed by Piaget as not being capable of operations (i.e. pre- operational)--that is, they can’t perform reversible mental activities E.g. conservation concept
Preoperational Stage (ages 2 - 7) Egocentrism: According to Piaget, children at this stage are also limited in their ability to take someone else’s perspective--they only see it from their own point of view The 3 Mountain Task
Concrete Operational Stage (ages 7-12) understand conservation. begin to reason logically about concrete objects but have difficulty with abstract concepts and hypotheticals. Difficulty reasoning systematically (e.g. --the pendulum problem).
Formal Operations Stage (ages 12+) begin to think abstractly and hypothetically –E.g. Fondness for SciFi/Fantasy –E.g. Comments like “what would you do if you could be 13 again?” “Do you think there is another planet out there with another ‘you’ on it?” now capable of systematic and scientific reasoning Unlike the other stages Piaget believed that some adults never reach this stage.
Strengths A good overview of children’s thinking at different points Appealing due to its breadth Fascinating observations Weaknesses/Criticisms Stage model depicts children’s thinking as being more consistent than it is children are more cognitively competent than Piaget recognized understates contribution of the social world vague about cognitive processes/mechanisms that produce cognitive growth Where Piaget Left Us