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:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi nqFgsIbh0&feature=PlayList&p=24103B3 2984AB4AB&playnext=1&playnext_from =PL&index=15
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
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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6 5EJ6gMmA4&feature=related
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)
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.
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.