Ch_5_Cognitive_Development_in_Infancy - Cognitive...

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Cognitive Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory suggests children explore their environment and by acting on it, learn the properties of their world. Babies as little scientists. Sensorimotor stage spans the first two years, as babies learn through their senses and locomotion, solving practical problems posed by their environment. Schemes – organized ways of making sense of experience- concepts. They gradually move from action-based to mental representations. Adaptation and Organization are the 2 processes that cause changes in schemes. Processes of adaptation (building schemes through direct interaction with the environment) o Assimilation occurs as we expand our schemes to include new information. o Accommodation occurs when we create new schemes when new information won’t fit anymore. We need a new concept to include new experiences. o We use these processes to achieve equilibrium , or status quo again after being disturbed by much change and new information. ( disequilibrium) There is the most change in schema during the sensorimotor stage, so this is the most complex period of development. Organization is another process of cognitive development- an internal process of rearranging information to form new schemes internally and interconnect them. Substages of the Sensorimotor stage were deduced by Piaget through observations of his own children. o Circular reaction is a means of adapting first schemes. The baby stumbles onto a new experience through his/her own accidental motor behavior. These behaviors become circular as the baby tries to repeat them. The first circular reactions involve the baby’s own body. Gradually they extend to creating reactions in the environment. So Substage 1 involves reflexes. After one month, babies begin to get some control over those reflexes- adapting the sucking response from breast, to nipple, to pacifier. Substage 3 lasts from 4 – 8 mo. as babies sit up and manipulate objects- attention is turned toward the environment. As they develop motor control, they can control their actions and create new complex behavior patterns- hitting, grasping. o Intentional, goal-directed behavior occurs in Substage 4, as babies combine schemes into complex sequences, no longer random reflexive behaviors. Now behavior is ordered to solve problems. o Object permanence is a significant accomplishment of the Sensorimotor stage, as babies begin to understand that objects continue to exist even when out of sight. Babies can anticipate occurrences and even try to change events or model others’ behaviors. Substage 5 brings tertiary circular reactions where babies try to repeat behaviors with variations to see the results.
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o Mental representations are internal symbolizations of information that can be manipulated: Images (mental pictures of objects) and concepts (categories used to group similar items.) This allows babies to experiment in their heads- through trial-and-error. Invisible displacement
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2010 for the course PSY 9 taught by Professor Mtso during the Fall '10 term at Riverside Community College.

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Ch_5_Cognitive_Development_in_Infancy - Cognitive...

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