6 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Cognitive Developmental Approaches John W. Santrock
Cognitive Developmental Approaches • Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development • Applying and Evaluating Piaget’s Theory • Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development • Cognitive Changes in Adulthood
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Processes of Development • Organization • Equilibrium • Equilibration • Piaget observed own 3 children; believed six processes used in constructing knowledge • Schemes • Assimilation • Accommodation
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Schemes • Actions or mental representations that organize knowledge • Behavioral schemes: physical activities characterizing infancy • Mental schemes: cognitive activities develop in childhood
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Assimilation and Accommodation • Both operate even in very young infants • Assimilation— incorporate new information or experience into existing knowledge schemes • Accommodation— adjust existing schemes to take in new information and experiences
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Organization • Children cognitively organize experiences - Grouping isolated behaviors into a higher-order cognitive system; receives continual refinement - Grouping items into categories
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Equilibrium and Equilibration • Proposed explanation of cognitive shift (qualitative) from one stage of thought to next • Disequilibrium— creates motivation for change; shift occurs as children experience cognitive conflict • Equilibration— they resolve conflict through assimilation and accommodation, to reach a new balance or equilibrium of thought
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Stages of Development • Piaget’s theory unifies experiences and biology to explain cognitive development • Motivation is internal search for equilibrium • Four stages of development…progressively advanced and qualitatively different
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor stage • First of Piaget’s stages • Birth to about 2 years • Infants construct understanding of world by coordinating sensory experiences with motoric actions • Contains six substages
Four distinct stages in Cognitive Development Sensorimotor Stage (0-2 years)This is experienced in the here and now(The active child: infants develop goal-directed behavior, means-ends thinking, and object permanence). Schemes- organized patterns of behavior, becoming more elaborate as development proceeds. The baby will organize their activity in relation to their environment via organization, adaptation, and equilibrium (first 5 substages).
Substages: • Stage 1 (1st/2nd month): reflex activity. Reflexes organize the newborn’s interactions. Within 3 weeks, babies come to expect certain coordinations among perceptual events, such as sights and sounds. Begin to exercises some control over reflexes- even without normal stimulus. Suck reflexes when lips are touched; eventually searches for nipple even when not touched; then sucks even when not hungry but nipple present. Cannot grasp object looking at.
Substages: • Stage 2 (2 to 4 months): Self-investigation. Elaborates on existing schemes and integrates simple schemes into more complicated behaviors. Modification and repetition of scheme to achieve interesting sensations: coordination of different schemes (e.g., looking and grasping). Primarily interested in own body. Repeats pleasant bodily sensations first by chance, then repeats for pleasure. Begins to suck different objects differently. Primary circular reactions: simple repetitive acts that center upon the infant’s own body (e.g., thumb sucking, hand clasping).
Substages: c. Stage 3 (4 to 8 months): Coordination and reaching out. Development of a variety of schemes that produce interesting effects: a more externally orientated, “cognitively extroverted” approach. Do something that produces a result, will repeat it. Manipulating objects and learning about their properties. Repeat actions that produce interesting results (e.g., shaking a rattle; coo when friendly face appears).
Substages: • Stage 3 (4 to 8 months): Coordination and reaching out. Secondary Circular Reaction: no longer focus on infant’s own body, rather reaches out. Operant conditioning, when immediate reinforcement follows a spontaneous activity, the baby repeats the activity. Kicks the mobile, it moves interestingly, will do it again. Good at tracking moving objects with eyes and reaching for things to grasp. Retrieves a hidden toy under a transparent cup. Searches for missing objects.
Substages: d. Stage 4 (8 to 12 months): Goal-directed behavior.Coordination of these schemes into intentional, “intelligent” looking means-end sequences, in which one scheme leads to another. Behavior is deliberate and purposeful. Try out new schemes in order to effect their environment. Combine sequences into order. Some schemes serve as a means for others in order to reach a goal. E.g., removes a barrier to get a toy. Can also anticipate events that do not depend on own immediate behavior (e.g., sees mother walking toward door, begins to cry). Crawls across room to get object. Baby is now a skillful imitator.
Substages: • Stage 4 (8 to 12 months): Goal-directed behavior. Play, that is, practicing sensorimotor schemes for the sheer fun of it, becomes prominent here. Play for longer periods of time engaging in same behavior. Infants in this stage learn from both play and imitation. Can retrieve object hidden. Learn from past experience, modify and coordinate previous schemes.
Substages: e. Stage 5 (12 to 18 months): Experimentation. Curious, trial and error experimentation, often leading to the discovery of new means to achieve goals; outer directed efforts to learn about the world. Experiments with hands or mouth. Explores new properties of objects by trial and error, systematically testing different approaches as if thinking “Lets see what happens if…”
Substages: e. Stage 5 (12 to 18 months): Experimentation. Varies approaches. This is the last “pure” sensorimotor stage. Still deals with only the “here and now”. Cannot yet imitate events that have occurred earlier or elsewhere. Imprisoned in own cognitive world by limited ability to communicate.
Substages: e. Stage 5 (12 to 18 months): Experimentation. Tertiary (third-order) circular reactions: child begins to actively experiment with things in order to discover how various actions will affect an object or outcome. (e.g., sitting in highchair, dawdling over oatmeal, drops handful over side. Does it again with more force, delighted in the splash; learns things fall down, not up; the force determines the degree of splash; can make an interesting patter on the floor with the oatmeal; and oatmeal is on the finer things in life!)
Substages: • Stage 6 (about 18 to 24 months): mental combinations and problem solving. Representational ability- to mentally visualize objects and actions in memory. Anticipates consequences. Invention of new means thorough internal, mental combinations; first appearance of deferred imitation, symbolic play, and speech. This is the transitory stage between sensorimotor and conceptual intelligence. Beginning of the representational intelligence and preoperational thought, which occur in the preschool years. Changes include the ability to represent objects and events in thought by symbols and to act on those symbols. Demonstrates insight!
Substages: • Stage 6 (about 18 to 24 months): mental combinations and problem solving. Can contemplate a problem, pause to think, and then act to solve it, without trial and error. Able to visualize own actions and thus use mental trial and error. Toddlers in this stage have not mastered symbolic thought, but do have mental images and apparently are able to use them in solving problems. E.g.: play with shape box; searching for right hole for the shape before trying; succeeding!
Object Permanence Objects have an existence of their own (object permanence). Occurs between 8-12 months. Takes 2 years to fully develop. 4-8 months: drop something, will look, then forget. 8-12 months: will look where they first found it after seeing it being hidden, even if it seen it move to another location (does not recall where moved to). 12-18 months, look where last seen. 18-24 months- will look for object even if did not see it placed somewhere.
Object Permanence Requires ability to have mental representations of the world and objects. Without mental images, symbols, or depictions to represent an object, you would be unable to think about it, because you have no internal was of representing it. In other words, without object permanence, “out of sight, out of mind”.
Spatial Knowledge Development of object concept and spatial knowledge linked to self-locomotion and coordination of visual and motor information. Causality 4-6 months and 12 months- discovery of effects of own actions and then effects of outside forces. That one event causes another. Allows to predict and control own world.
Simple reflexes Basic means of coordinating sensation and action through reflexive behaviors 1 First habits and primary circular reactions Infants’ infant’s attempt to reproduce interesting or pleasurable event (1-4 mos) 2 Secondary circularreactions Infant is more object-oriented moving beyond preoccupation with the self(4-8 months) 3 Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor Substages
Coordination of secondary circular reactions Significant changes in coordination of schemes and intentionality (8-12 mos) 4 Tertiary circularreactions, novelty and curiosity Intrigued by objects’ many properties; explores new possibilities with them(12-18 mos) 5 Internalization ofSchemes Ability to use primitive symbols; shift to mental manipulation (18-24 mos) 6 Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor Substages
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Object Permanence • Understanding that objects and events continue to exist even when they cannot be seen, heard, or touched • One of infant’s most important accomplishments • Acquired in stages • Violation of expectations testing
(a) (b) (c) Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Infant’s Understanding of Causality Fig. 6.3
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Evaluating Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage • New research techniques suggest Piaget’s theory needs to be modified • Some abilities develop earlier • Intermodal perception; substantiality and permanence of objects • Transitions not as clear-cut; AB error • No general theory on how development changes in cognition and nature-nurture issue
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Preoperational Stage • Second Piagetian developmental stage • About 2 to 7 years of age; two substages • Children begin to represent the world with words, images, and drawings • Not ready to perform Operations • Internalized actions that allow children to do mentally what they only did physically before • Reversible mental actions
Cognitive Development- Piaget Preoperational Stage (ages 2 to 7; 18 months to 8 years old) • The intuitive child • Children can use symbols and words to think • Intuitive problem solving, but thinking limited by rigidity, centrism, and egocentrism Understand that things have identities that are stable, unchanging • Understanding of cause and effect • Ability to classify • Understanding of numbers • Empathy • Theory of mind (aware of mental activity)
Two stages of the Preoperational Stage: • Preconceptual Stage (2-4 years) Begins to symbolize and develop ability to internalize objects and events, develop preconcepts. (e.g., the Santa they saw is the one and only Santa; recognize birds, but not types of birds)
Two types of reasoning: syncratic and transductive. Syncratic: how preschoolers tend to sort and classify objects; according to a limited set of criteria. (e.g., the boat goes with other boats because they are boats; this glove goes with the boats because they are both green; this block goes with the boat because they are blocks and fit onto the deck of the boat).
Two types of reasoning: syncratic and transductive. Transductive reasoning: involves drawing a reference about the relationship between two objects based on a single attribute. Generally leads to wrong conclusions. (e.g., if A has four legs and B has four legs, then A must be B and vice versa). Animism: the magical belief that inanimate objects have thoughts, feelings, and motives. Magical thinking: take rhymes/stories seriously (Rain, rain, go away; Step on a crack and break your mother’s back).
Intuitive stage (4-7 years);centers on one aspect at a time, egocentrism. Beliefs are generally based on what they sense to be true rather than on what logic or rational thought would dictate. (e.g., recalling what color bead was first and last in a tube, even if reversing the tube. Unable at this stage to use logical operations (e.g., if tube turned 29 ½ times, which bead on top? Must be able to count number of times tube turned with recalling what color was on top, etc.). Unable to understand concept of reversibility.
From action to symbol. Can use images and symbols, but lacks logical abilities. Object permanence. Deferred imitation occurs. Better grasp of symbols. Acquisition of language is a major achievement here. Another major achievement is Intuition. Can look at a problem and quickly deduce the solution. Applies trial and error, applying one scheme after another until one works.
Egocentrism: unable to take role of another person or view the world from other vantage points. Does not know yet that others have different wants, needs, and perspectives. Precausal reasoning: the inability to distinguish between psychological and physical causes, between subjective experiences and objective events. E.g., convinced that dreams are real. Centering: inability to consider more than one dimension at a time. Also, seeing is believing: appearance vs. reality. Only focus on one aspect at a time.
SUMMARY • Beginning of organized language and symbolic thought • Child begins to perceive language as a tool to get needs met • Much of child’s language is egocentric-they talk to self and do not listen to other children • Child does not use logical thinking; as a result, cannot reason by implication • Child’s reasoning is transductive reasoning: reasoning from a particular idea to a particular idea without logically connecting them
Pretend Play Deferred imitation: based on mental representation of previously viewed event Pretend play:fantasy/imaginary play, make object represent or symbolize something else. Language:uses system of symbols to communicate Conservation: Cannot yet grasp this concept (Two things remain equal even if appearance changes)
Distinguishing between Appearance and Reality Age 5-6 What seems to be and what is (e.g., is the cookie monster (costumed person) really the cookie monster? Distinguishing between Fantasy & Reality 18 months-3, distinguish between real and imagined events magical or wishful thinking of age 3 and older does not seem to stem from confusion between fantasy and reality
First substage of preoperational thought; young child gains ability to represent mentally an object that is not present (2-4 years) Symbolic function Inability to distinguish between one’s own and another’s view Egocentrism Belief that inanimate objects have lifelike qualities, capable of action Animism Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development The Symbolic Function Substage
View 1 View 2 (d) (c) Child seated here (c) (d) (a) (b) (b) (a) Child seated here Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development The Three Mountains Task Fig. 6.4
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development The Symbolic Drawings of Young Children (a) A 31/2-year-old’s symbolic drawing. Halfway into this drawing, the 31/2-year-old artist said it was “a pelican kissing a seal.” (b) This 11-year-old’s drawing is neater and more realistic but also less inventive. Fig. 6.5
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development The Intuitive Thought Substage • Children begin using primitive reasoning and want to know answers to all sorts of questions (4-7 years) • Why? questions exhaust adults • Centration— focusing attention on one characteristic to exclusion of all others • Conservation— object or substance amount stays same regardless of changing appearance; lacking in preoperational stage
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Piaget’s Conservation Task Fig. 6.6
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Some Dimensions of Conservation: Number, Matter, and Length Fig. 6.7
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Concrete Operational Stage • Piaget’s third stage (7-11 years) • Children can perform concrete operations • Logical reasoning replaces intuitive reasoning if applied to specific, concrete examples • Consider several characteristics of object at once • Cross-cultural variations exist