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 Young children view the world very differently from adults.  E.g. no unusual for a child to think the sun follows them.  Field of cognitive psychology.

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Presentation on theme: " Young children view the world very differently from adults.  E.g. no unusual for a child to think the sun follows them.  Field of cognitive psychology."— Presentation transcript:


2  Young children view the world very differently from adults.  E.g. no unusual for a child to think the sun follows them.  Field of cognitive psychology involves the study of how we acquire, organise, remember and use information.  Cognitive development: how and when we develop and use mental abilities and changes that occur in mental abilities throughout the lifespan.  Cannot be directly observed.  Therefore it is mostly inferred from overt behaviour.

3  Psychologists have learnt a great deal about the capabilities of infants in many areas of development.  This was mainly initiated by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget.  Research has been translated into English since the 1920s.  His views have been used and refined, but also criticised since then.

4  Assimilation › Process of taking in new information and fitting it into and making it part of an existing mental idea about objects or the world. › We make sense of new info in terms of our existing knowledge and understanding. › E.g. a child may think a new toy truck is actually a car because their existing mental idea of this object is a car.  Accommodation › We cannot always assimilate. › We are forced to change or accommodate an existing mental idea to fit in the new object or experience. › We change an existing mental idea in order to fit new information. › More advanced than assimilation. › Involves modifying existing mental ideas so new info can be incorporated. › E.g. The child develops a new mental idea that allows them to see the truck as a truck (not car).

5  According to Piaget, all behaviour involves assimilation and accommodation.  Interaction of these processes allows a child to progressively adapt to the world.  Allows child to form a schema – a mental idea of what something is and how to deal with it.

6  Sensorimotor  Preoperational  Concrete operational  Formal Operational

7  Birth to two years  World is experienced through senses  Motor / perceptual skills are coordinated  Goal directed behaviour is carried out  Idea of object permanence is developed ( key accomplishment)  Object permanence refers to the understanding that objects still exist even if they cannot be seen or touched.  Maybe why ‘peek-a- boo’ so exciting for infants – they really think you face has disappeared.

8  Two to seven years  They can assimilate and accommodate.  Symbolic thinking - language & drawings are used to represent things symbolically  Thinking shows -  Egocentrism (inability to see things from another perspective).  Animism (everything that exists has some kind of consciousness or awareness. nqFgsIbh0&feature=PlayList&p=24103B3 2984AB4AB&playnext=1&playnext_from =PL&index=15

9  Another key accomplishment is transformation.  Understanding that something can change from one state to another.  E.g. an ice block is still the same object when it is melted.  Children find the following difficult: › understanding the principle of conservation › Focus on more than one object at a time (centration) › classifying objects › seeing equivalence › reversing operations

10  7 to 12 years  Children can think logically about real objects / events  Key accomplishment is conservation, which refers to the idea that an object does not change its eight, mass, volume or area when the object changes its shape or appearance.  Classification is another accomplishment.  The child is able to organise information into categories based on common features that sets them apart from other classes or groups.  The child begins to move towards abstract thinking. 5EJ6gMmA4&feature=related

11  12 years and over.  Thinking becomes more sophisticated.  Key accomplishment is abstract thinking, which is a way of thinking that does not rely on being able to see or visualise things in order to understand concepts.  Logical thinking is another key accomplishment, such as developing strategies to solve problems.  Can understand concepts of time and distance.  Make plans, set goals, strive to be something (idealism)

12  Used clinical interview method rather than experimental method : › No control group › Small samples to gather evidence › Absence of statistical analysis in his research  No attempt to test representative samples of children (often his own)  Selected particular observations that supported his theory.  He was criticised for asking young children about things that were unfamiliar or confusing, resulting in him underestimating what they knew and understood. BUT….  Piaget was a Constructivist (someone who believes that learners construct knowledge for themselves)  Therefore his scientific orientation was quite different from the research traditionally done in American psychology at the time.  He believed that small samples and the clinical methods he used were adequate, as long as the observer identified structures common to all individuals.  Other researches have refined or improved Piaget’s methods of testing/assessing children, revealing a more accurate understanding of the ages that children being to develop key cognitive abilities.

13  Some theorists question whether children’s thinking develops in stages and suggest that the term ‘stage’ implies that abrupt changes occur.  Current researches view development as a continuous process than did Piaget.  Some research suggests that only one third of the population actually reach full formal operational abilities.  He also neglected to account for many important cognitive factors such as memory span, motivation and practice.  Underestimated how social influences impact on a child’s cognitive development, e.g., the role of society in facilitating and providing increased understanding for children.

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