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Lifespan Development

Lifespan Development

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Lifespan Development

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  1. Lifespan Development Chapter 5: Cognitive Development in Infancy

  2. Piaget proposed that • Physical bodies can adapt to the world • Humans build mental structures to aid adaptation • Humans interactive with their environment • Children think differently at various points in their development

  3. Schemes are patterns of actions and thoughts that organize knowledge. • Actions are behavioral schemes. Their development characterizes infancy, such as that of simple actions and reflexes. • Thoughts are cognitive activities or mental schemes, which develop in childhood, such as classifying objects by size, color, or shape.

  4. Assimilation incorporates new information into existing knowledge. • Accommodation adjusts existing knowledge to fit new information. • Organization is Piaget’s concept of grouping isolated behaviors into a higher-order system • The child becomes skilled at using tools over time, one at a time until experiences become skills

  5. Equilibration: • Piaget’s mechanism to explain how children shift from one stage of thought to another • It is lost when children have cognitive conflicts • Achieved when assimilation and accommodation are used together to resolve a conflict • Piaget’s 6 substages of the sensorimotor stage of infant development last from birth to 2 years of age

  6. Piaget’s 6 Substages of Sensorimotor Development Figure 6.1

  7. The Sensorimotor Stage • The Circular Reaction • Substage 1: Reflexive schemes (birth to 1 month) • Substage 2: Primary circular reactions – the first learned adaptations (1 to 4 months) • Substage 3: Secondary circular reactions – making interesting sights last (4 to 8 months) • Substage 4: Coordination of secondary circular reactions (8 to 12 months) • Substage 5: Tertiary circular reactions – discovering new means through active experimentation (12 to 18 months) • Substage 6: Mental representation – inventing new means through mental combinations (18 to 24 months)

  8. At the end of sensorimotor stage: • Object permanence is understood • Infant understands a differentiation between self and world • At around 5.5 and 6.5 months of age, an infant can understand simple causal factors • Piaget’s work is criticized as • Being too vague • Underestimating infant ability • Being based mostly on his children’s infancy

  9. Conditioning: • Consequences following a behavior affects whether behavior is repeated • Rovee-Collier showed infants have memory of conditioned experiences • Attention: • Infants can scan and fixate on objects • 4-month-olds show selective attention • Infant attention governed by novelty and habituation, respond to changed stimuli

  10. Meltzoff: imitation abilities are biological because infants can imitate facial expressions within a few days after birth • Piaget: deferred imitation occurs at about 18 months but Meltzoff showed that it occurred at 9 months

  11. Memory: retention of information over time • Implicit memory is performed automatically without conscious recollection • Explicit memory is conscious memory of facts and experiences; occurs in infants after 6 months • Infantile or childhood amnesia: • Inability to recall memories of events that occurred before 3 years of age • May be caused by immaturity of prefrontal lobes of the brain

  12. Individual differences in infant cognitive development are important: • Development testing emphasizes “norms” • Infants assessed mostly based on assessment scales and intelligence tests • Identifying an infant’s development as slow, normal, or advanced has advantages: • If slow – provide more enrichment • If advanced – provide more stimulating toys

  13. Types of infant cognitive assessment: • Gesell’s developmental quotient (DQ) has 4 categories of behavior: motor, language, adaptive, and personal–social • Bayley Scales of Infant Development have three components to predict later development: mental scale, motor scale, and infant behavior profile

  14. Fagan Test of Infant Intelligence focuses on infant’s ability to process information • Estimates a baby’s intelligence by comparing amount of time spent looking at an object with amount of time spent looking at familiar object • Infant intelligence tests are valuable in assessing effects of maternal deprivation and environmental stimulation; but not highly correlated with later childhood IQ scores

  15. Wild or feral children are raised in isolation and unable to recapture normal language development despite intensive intervention later • For example: • Victor, Wild Boy of Aveyron • Genie: 13-year-old found in 1970 in Los Angeles • Both cases raise questions about biological and environmental determinants of language • Language is a system of words, symbols, and gestures that create shared communication that transcends time (future, present, and past)

  16. Language’s five systems of rules: • Phonology: sound system of language, with phoneme being smallest unit of sound with meaning • Morphology: units of meaning in word formation, with morpheme being the smallest unit of meaning • Syntax: how words are combined • Semantics: the meanings of sentences and words • Pragmatics: use of appropriate language in different contexts

  17. Language develops in infants throughout the world along a similar path and sequence • Infant’s ability to recognize native language, for English speakers this includes distinguishing “r” from “t” • On average, a child • Understands about 50 words at age 13 months • Speaks first word at 10–15 months of age • Can speak about 50 words at 18 months of age

  18. Variation in Language Milestones 27 24 21 18 15 12 Age in months 9 First words Vocabulary spurt Language Milestone Figure 6.9

  19. Average 2-year-old can speak about 200 words • Vocabulary spurt begins at approximately 18 months of age • Two-word utterances occur at about 18–24 months • Overextension and underextension of words are common • Telegraphic speech is use of short and precise words

  20. Some Language Milestones in Infancy Age Language Milestones Figure 6.10

  21. There is evidence that • Language has a biological basis • Everyone “knows” its rules and has ability to create infinite numbers of words and sentences • Specific regions of the brain are predisposed to be used for language • Broca’s Area • an area of the left frontal lobe that directs the muscle movements involved in speech • Wernicke’s Area • an area of the left temporal lobe involved in language comprehension and expression

  22. Broca’s Area and Wernicke’s Area Broca’s Area Wernicke’s Area Figure 6.11

  23. Chomsky: humans are prewired for language • Chomsky’s language acquisition device (LAD) is a theoretical construct only • Behaviorists claim language is a complex learned skill acquired through responses and reinforcements • Studies found link between size of child’s vocabulary and mother’s talkativeness • Young children’s vocabularies are linked to family socioeconomic status

  24. Level of Maternal Speech and Infant Vocabulary 800 High Mother’s level of speech 600 400 Infant’s vocabulary size (words) Medium 200 Low 0 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Infant’s age (months) Figure 6.12

  25. Language Input in Professional and Welfare Families, and Young Children’s Vocabulary Development 800 Professional 600 400 Parent utterances to child per hour Welfare 200 0 10 14 18 22 26 30 34 38 Age of children (months) Figure 6.12 (a)

  26. Language Input in Professional and Welfare Families, and Young Children’s Vocabulary Development 1200 1000 Professional 800 600 400 Welfare Children’s cumulative vocabulary (words) 200 0 10 14 18 22 26 30 34 38 Age of children (months) Figure 6.12 (b)

  27. Three strategies to enhance child’s acquisition of language other than child-directed speech • Recasting: rephrasing something the child has said • Expanding state: repeating what the child has said but in correct structure • Labeling: identifying the names of objects • Children vary in their ability to acquire language