PSYC7: Developmental Foundations Professor Emily Blumenthal COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT: PIAGET August 10, 2015
• Age (or experience)-related changes in how people: • Think • Solve problems (reasoning) • Speak (learn language) WHAT IS COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT?
• Observed children at different ages, gave them directed tasks to perform • Developed a theory of cognitive development • Identified 5 key mechanisms of development • Identified 4 stages of development JEAN PIAGET
• Children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore the world • Thinking is characterized by adaptation and organization • Grouping isolated behaviors and thoughts into higher-order, more smoothly functioning cognitive system • Continual refinement of organization is a part of development • Children’s thinking develops through a series of stages • Thinking differs qualitatively from stage to stage • Progress through the stages is invariant THEMES FOR PIAGET’S THEORY
“Jacqueline had a visit from a little boy who, in the course of the afternoon got into a terrible temper. He screamed and pushed at his playpen, stamping his feet. Jacqueline stood watching in amazement, never having witnessed such a scene. The next day, she herself screamed in her playpen and stamped her foot.” (Piaget, 1951, p.63) FROM PIAGET:
• Exploration • Children learn from active exploration of their environment • Schemes • Actions or mental representations that organize knowledge • Assimilation • Children use existing schemes to include new information • Accommodation • Adjusting schemes to fit new information and experiences • Equilibration • A drive to balance assimilation and accommodation to achieve a stable understanding MECHANISMS OF DEVELOPMENT
A child seeing a zebra for the first time calls it a horse. The child assimilates this information into her scheme for a horse. When the child accommodates information, she takes into consideration the different properties of a zebra compared to a horse, perhaps calling a zebra a horse with stripes. When she eventually learns the name of zebra, she has accommodated this information. ASSIMILATION VS. ACCOMMODATION
CLICKER QUESTION Six-month-old Liliana has been exclusively breast-fed since birth, and thus has never drunk milk from a bottle. The first time Liliana is offered the bottle, she tries to suck on it the same way she is used to sucking. However, her old sucking behavior is not successful with the bottle. She thus has to adapt her sucking in order to get sufficient milk from the bottle. According to Piaget, Liliana's new understanding of how to suck on the bottle is an indication that she has engaged in which of the following processes? A. Assimilation B. Accommodation C. Equilibration
CLICKER QUESTION A child learns his father is called Daddy, so he calls other males ( e.g. the mailman) Daddy. This is ________. He is quickly told that the other man is not Daddy, he is the mailman, Bob. The schema for Daddy is modified. This is ________.
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- Theory of cognitive development, Object permanence, mental representations