CHILD DEVELOPMENT THEORIES AND THEORISTS
REVIEW: What is a theory? To guide their questions, research, and interpretations of data, developmental scholars construct ‘theories’. A theory is an organized system of principles and explanations for a particular phenomena. There are 7 categories of theoretical approaches to child development: 1. Biological Theories 2. Behaviorism and Social Learning Theories 3. Psychodynamic Theories 4. Cognitive-Developmental Theories 5. Cognitive Process Theories 6. Sociocultural Theories 7. Developmental Systems Theories
Biological theories… These theories focus on genetic factors, physiological structures and functions of the body, and the psychological processes that help the child adapt and survive in their environment. Emphasis on NATURE. Theorists include Charles Darwin, Arnold Gesell, Maria Montessori, Konrad Lorenz, John Bowlby, Henry Wellman, Susan Gelman, David Bjorklund, Robert Plomin, Sandra Scarr, and Mary Ainsworth.
Behaviorism and social Learning theories… Theorists focus on environmental stimuli and learning processes that lead to behavioral change. When children act, the environment responds with rewards or punishment. Emphasis on NURTURE. Theorists include B.F. Skinner, John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov, Sidney Bijou, Donald Baer, and Albert Bandura.
Psychodynamic theories… Theorists focus on how family and society affect how children control and express instinctual urges such as sexuality and aggressiveness. Social relationships affect children’s basic trust in others and perception/identity of themselves as individuals. Theorists include Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and Erik Erikson.
Cognitive-developmental theories… Theorists believe that children’s thinking undergoes transformations toward increasingly abstract and systematic patterns. It may depend on early experiences. Children can eventually see a single event from several valid points of view. Theorists include Jean Piaget, Bärbel Inhelder, Lawrence Kohlberg, David Elkind, Robbie Case, and John Flavell.
cognitive process theories… Theorists focus on both nature and nurture. Children are born with the basic capacity to perceive, interpret, and remember information. Those capacities change with brain maturation, experience, and reflection. This theory differs from Cognitive Development Theory in that it focuses on interpretation of information. Theorists include David Klahr, Deanna Kuhn, Robert Siegler, Ann L. Brown, Henry Wellman, Susan Gelman, John Flavell, and Robbie Case.
sociocultural theories… With an emphasis on nurture, theorists believe all children will naturally learn to use communication, intellectual abilities, and social-emotional skills… but families and community/culture influence how they carry out these tasks. Theorists include Lev Vygotsky, A.R. Luria, James Wertsch, Barbara Rogoff, Patricia Greenfield, Mary Gauvain, Jerome Bruner, and Michael Cole.
developmental systems theories… Factors inside the child (nature) and outside the child (nurture) combine to influence developmental patterns. Their own activities, from sleeping and eating patterns to watching TV and playing sports, also influence development throughout the life cycle. Theorists include UrieBronfenbrenner, Arnold Sameroff, Richard Lerner, Kurt Fischer, Esther Thelen, Gilbert Gottlieb, and Paul Baltes.
An eclectic approach… No single theory can explain all aspects of child development. An eclectic approach, one that includes many perspectives including some nature and some nurture… is probably the most useful.
embedded figures task… Herman A. Witkin 1916-1979 He was a pioneer in learning styles. A ‘learning style’ refers to the individual differences in how we perceive, think, solve problems, and relate to others. Witkin authored the concept of field-dependence and field independence. He believed, figuratively speaking, that when some people look at the forest… they see the whole forest. (DEP) When others look at the forest… they see a single tree. (IND)
embedded figures task… What do you see? If you see the WHOLE picture, the forest, then you are ‘field dependent’. The ‘Embedded Figures Test’ was developed to measure ‘field dependence’ and ‘field independence’. A test for preschoolers is called the Preschool Embedded Figures Test or PEFT. The Children’s Embedded Figures Test is the CEFT, and an adult version that can be administered to a group is called the Group Embedded Figures Test, or GEFT. If you can easily separate a single tree from the forest, and see just that tree, then you are ‘field independent’.
embedded figures task… Here is a sample of the PEFT test: The picture at the lower right is ‘the field’. Look at the field. Within the ‘field’ is this triangle. Can you see the triangle? If you can find a simple figure within a complex ‘field’, then you may be field independent.
embedded figures task… The Children’s Embedded Figures Test or CEFT, is similar to the PEFT but is colored… to add more distraction. The adult test, or GEFT, asks the subject to find a simple geometric figure within a more complex one. The Embedded Figures test measures intellectual development… HOW you think. It does NOT measure intelligence. Individuals who are ‘field dependent’ have different characteristics than those who are ‘field independent’.
embedded figures task… Field Independent people take an analytical approach; as a child they tend to prefer less social play options such as block building, puzzles, painting, etc.; they may be described by others as inconsiderate and manipulative, but would describe themselves as independent. They prefer solitary sports, such as golf, wrestling, chess, swimming. They do well in careers that do not involve interpersonal relationships. They are very effective at analysis and restructuring of elements. They make judgements based on fact.
embedded figures task… Field dependent people take a global approach; they deal with ‘the whole’. Children usually prefer social play options such as playing house, playing school, and group activities. They may be described as warm and liking to be with others. They prefer team sports such as basketball and volleyball. They are ‘people persons’, and favor interpersonal work relationships. They are very effective in conflict resolution and working out disagreements. They use intuition and gut-feelings in making judgments.
embedded figures task… Remember the hidden picture activities you did as a child? Were you good at finding the hidden pictures? How about finding ‘Waldo’ in the ‘Where’s Waldo’ pictures? Those activities appealed to ‘field independent’ children. Do you see THE HIDDEN TIGER in the picture above? Read the words THE HIDDEN TIGER in the tiger’s stripes.
Graphic representation… Jean Piaget 1896-1980 Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist, best known for his pioneering work on the development of intelligence in children. His studies have had a major impact on the fields of psychology and education. Piaget was born August 9, 1896. He received his doctorate in biology at age 22. Piaget became interested in psychology; he studied and carried out research first in Zurich, Switzerland, and then at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he began his studies on the development of cognitive abilities.
Jean Piaget Jean Piaget developed the House-Tree Task. Jean Piaget wrote the Theory of Graphic Representation: Draw a picture of a house with a tree behind it.
Graphic representation… The house-tree task measures intellectual or cognitive development, but NOT intelligence. It is an appropriate test for children in the pre-operational stage of development… usually between the ages of 2 and 7 years. It measures the child’s ability to ‘visualize’ in a realistic manner. The child must be given the exact direction: “Draw a picture of a house with a tree behind it.” Analyze the results: • Stage 1: Scribbling • Random lines and forms that are not identifiable; often drawn by a child about 2-3 years old
Graphic representation… Draw a picture of a house with a tree behind it. • Stage 2: Fortuitous Realism • You cannot accurately identify where the tree is or where the house is… it would be a guess; this is often the drawing of a 3-4 year old
Graphic representation… • Stage 3: Failed Realism Draw a picture of a house with a tree behind it. -The tree is NOT behind the house; it may be beside the house, juxtaposed on top of the house, or tucked halfway behind the house; often drawn by a 4-5 year old
Graphic representation… Draw a picture of a house with a tree behind it. Stage 4: Intellectual Realism This will be a very clever, but incorrect attempt. The child, usually 5-6 years old, appears to be very smart, but in fact, cannot visualize this correctly. • The child may draw a transparency where the tree shows through the house, or may put the house on top of a hill way in the distance. They may draw a 3-dimensional house and put the tree on the side.
Graphic representation… Stage 5: Visual Realism The tree is behind the house. You can see very little or none of the tree trunk. You can verify the position of the tree by asking the child “Where are the roots of your tree?” This child can correctly picture this scene in their head, and is often 6-7 years old. The colors (or lack of colors) a child selects does not have any impact on visual realization. Draw a picture of a house with a tree behind it.
Graphic representation… Never ask the child “What is this?” It is an insult to their drawing ability. If you asked them to draw a picture of a house with a tree behind it… then it IS a picture of a house with a tree behind it! If you want more information about the picture, simply say “Tell me about your picture”. Like all other areas of development, boys normally lag behind girls. The child should not be able to observe other children’s drawings while taking this test. Any conversation you have with the child during testing may influence what they draw. Be careful what you say. Draw a picture of a house with a tree behind it.
Graphic representation… A child that has not reached the stage of visual realism does not have a full understanding of spatial concepts… next to, beside, on, over, under, inside, outside, behind, in front of, in a row, etc. The teacher or parent who expects this child to ‘line up behind other children’ or ‘put the toy on top of the box’ may be asking an impossibility.
John Bowlby 1907-1990 Born in England Physician and Psychoanalyst at the University of Cambridge Developed attachment theory. Classic works: The Nature of the Child’s Tie to His Mother (1958), Separation Anxiety (1960), Grief and Mourning in Infancy and Early Childlhood (1960) Mary D. Ainsworth1913 - 1999 Born in Glendale, Ohio. Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1939.Known for work on early emotional attachments. Studied cultural differences in attachment formation in infants in Uganda. Co-author with John Bowlby. Konrad Lorenz 1903-1989 Born in Altenberg, Austria. Established the science of ethology. Awarded the Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine in 1973 for his studies concerning the organization of individual and group behavior patterns. Laid the foundation of an evolutionary approach to mind and cognition.
Charles Robert Darwin, 1809-1882 is best known for devising the theory of evolution to explain to diversity of species, but also wrote widely about the emotional bonds between humans, and similarities between the emotions of humans and animals. Arnold Lucius Gesell1880-1961, was a psychologist and pediatrician who was a pioneer in the field of child development. Gesell made use of the latest technology in his research: video and photography and one-way mirrors He realized the vast importance of both nature and nurture. He cautioned others not to be quick to attribute mental disabilities to specific causes. He believed that many aspects of human behavior, such as handedness and temperament are inheritable. He understood that children adapted to their parents as well as to one another. He thought that a nationwide nursery school system would benefit America. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) was an Italian physician, educator, philosopher, humanitarian and devout Catholic; best known for her philosophy and the Montessori method of education of children. Her educational method is in use today in a number of public and private schools throughout the world. Education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment. The teacher prepares a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refrains from obtrusive interference.
Henry Wellman is a developmental psychologist specializing in cognitive domains. Such domains, like the child's understanding of language or space, are rapidly acquired cognitive structures that frame and encourage further developments. Wellman's research focuses on this question in children from infancy to adulthood, growing up in this and other cultures, as well as impaired children (autism) that seem to fail to develop a normal understanding of people's mental lives. Susan Gelmanis a Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the topics of cognitive development, language acquisition, categorization, inductive reasoning, causal reasoning, and relationships between language and thought. Gelman subscribes to the domain specificity view of cognition, asserting that the mind is comprised of specialized modules sub-serving specific cognitive functions. David Bjorklund's research interests are in the areas of cognitive development and evolutionary developmental psychology. Research projects conducted in his lab include the use of simple arithmetic strategies while playing a board game ("Chutes and Ladders"), as well as how parents interact with children during such games to facilitate children's mathematical performance, etc. Related scholarly interests include issues of the possible role of development in human cognitive evolution and the establishment of evolutionary developmental psychology as a subdiscipline within psychology.
Robert Plomin (1948- ); is an American psychologist best known for his work in twin studies and behavior genetics. Plomin has made two of the most important discoveries in that field. First, he has shown the importance of non-shared environment, a term that he coined to refer to the environmental reasons why children growing up in the same family are so different. Second, he has shown that many environmental measures in psychology show genetic influence and that genetic factors can mediate associations between environmental measures and developmental outcomes. Sandra Wood Scarr(born August 1936) is an American psychology professor. In the 1960's, Scarr studied identical and fraternal twins' aptitude and school achievement scores. The study revealed that intellectual development was heavily influenced by genetic ability, especially among more advantaged children. It also showed that on average, black children demonstrated less genetic and more environmental influence on their intelligence than white children. Scarr also collaborated with Margaret Williams on a clinical study which demonstrated that premature birth infants who receive stimulation gain weight faster and recover faster than babies left in isolation (the practice at that time).
B.F. Skinner 1904-1990 Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University in 1931 Taught at Harvard University Started the science of operant behavior, a branch of behaviorism He originated programmed instruction. Albert Bandura 1925-present Perhaps Albert Bandura is most noted for his Social Learning Theory, which resulted from his famous Bobo doll experiment. Albert Bandura believed that aggression must explain three aspects: First, how aggressive patterns of behavior are developed; second, what provokes people to behave aggressively, and third, what determines whether they are going to continue to resort to an aggressive behavior pattern on future occasions. John B. Watson 1878-1958 Founder of behaviorist school of psychology. Concluded that heredity is a minor factor in human being’s actions.
Ivan P. Pavlov 1849-1936 Russian physiologist, three major emphases of research: function of the nerves of the heart, primary digestive glands, conditioned reflexes Most significant figure in the history of Russian psychology and pioneer in research in classical conditioning. His ‘Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes’ is a classic work setting forth a psychology and psychiatry based on the principles of conditioning, serendipitously discovered the paradigm of classical conditioning while doing research on the digestive system. Sidney W. Bijou Dr. Bijou introduced the operant method for the systematic study of children in laboratory settings. He and his colleagues at the University of Washington introduced field operant methods for children and published a methodology for such studies. Dr. Bijou has an impressive publication record, including 16 books and over 150 articles. Dr. Bijou and Dr. Donald Baer published a highly regarded series of books on the behavior analysis of child development. Donald Baer, 1931-2002, was a world-renowned psychologist who significantly contributed to his field of research. Baer was at the forefront of the applied behavior movement and pioneered the development of behavior analysis at two separate institutions, incl. the University of Kansas. Some of his most noteworthy contributions include literature on behavior-analytic theory, experimental design, and early childhood interventions.
Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939, is often referred to as the Father of psychoanalysis. He studied under Charcot in Paris, developing techniques such as hypnosis. After using hypnosis, Freud developed the technique of free association. Freud's theory focused on the unconscious, drives and defenses. He developed the 3-part theory of human behavior (id, ego, and superego) and the Oedipal Complex (child’s attachment to opposite-sex parent. Anna Freud, 1895 - 1982 Continuing the work of her father, Sigmund Freud, she was a pioneer in the psychoanalysis of children. She received her training in Vienna and then emigrated to England, where she founded and directed a clinic for child therapy. Erik H. Erikson 1902-1994 Erikson is a Freudian ego-psychologist. This means that he accepts Freud's ideas as basically correct, including the more debatable ideas such as the Oedipal complex, and accepts as well the ideas about the ego that were added by other Freudian loyalists such as Heinz Hartmann and Anna Freud. Erikson, however, believed in the influence of the environment. Erikson is most widely noted for his 8-stage model of psychosocial development.
Jean Piaget 1896-1980 Swiss psychologist pioneering work on the development of intelligence in children. His studies have had a major impact on the fields of psychology and education. In his work Piaget identified the child's four stages of cognitive development: In the sensorimotor stage, birth to age 2, the child is concerned with gaining motor control and learning about physical objects. In the preoperational stage, ages 2 to 7, the child is preoccupied with verbal skills, naming objects and reasoning intuitively. In the concrete operational stage, ages 7 to 12, the child begins to deal with abstract concepts such as numbers and relationships. Finally, in the formal operational stage, ages 12 to 15, the child begins to reason logically and systematically. Lawrence Kohlberg 1927-1987 Kohlberg, an American psychologist, is best known for his work in the development of moral reasoning in children and adolescents. Kohlberg concluded that children and adults progress through six stages in the development of moral reasoning. John Flavell (1928- )Flavell's research focused on children's understanding of the roles of others and on children's communication skills and developing memory skills. Flavell found that children need to understand the concept of memory before they can develop skills for utilizing and improving memory. He called this knowledge "metamemory.”
Bärbel Inhelder (1913-1997) was a Swiss developmental psychologist, the most famous co-worker of Jean Piaget. Inhelder's work was particularly significant in the discovery of the stage of "formal operations" occurring in the transition between childhood and adolescence. This type of thinking involves deductive reasoning and the ability to reason hypothetically. David Elkind (1931- ) Dr. Elkind is a renowned author and clinical psychologist. His research has focused on cognitive and social development of children and adolescents and has included studies of stress, its causes, and its effects on children, youth, and families. He has served as a consultant to schools, mental health associations, and private foundations. Robbie Case 1945-2000 Case’s research includes important papers on social, emotional, and linguistic development and on the development of creative intelligence. His main research focus centered on theories of intellectual development in relation to education…specifically math. He was the author of a stage theory of cognitive development, integrating important aspects of the Piagetian stage theory and cognitive information-processing theory to capitalize on the strengths and overcome limitations of each, and particularly to draw out from this integration implications for the design of instruction.
David Klahr His current research focuses on cognitive development, scientific reasoning, and cognitively-based instructional interventions in early science education. His earlier work addressed cognitive processes in such diverse areas as voting behavior, college admissions, consumer choice, peer review and problem solving. Deanna Kuhn Deanna Kuhn argues that schools should teach students to use their minds well, in school and beyond. Bringing insights from research in developmental psychology to pedagogy, Kuhn maintains that inquiry and argument should be at the center of a "thinking curriculum"—a curriculum that makes sense to students as well as to teachers and develops the skills and values needed for lifelong learning. Robert S. Siegler Bob Siegler specializes in the cognitive development of problem-solving and reasoning in children, especially in math and science. Three areas of particular interest to his research are strategy choices, long-term learning, and educational applications of cognitive-developmental theory. Ann Leslie Brown (1943-1999) was an educational psychologist who developed methods for teaching children to be better learners. Her realization that children's learning difficulties often stem from an inability to use metacognitive strategies such as summarizing led to profound advances in educational psychology theory and teaching practices.
Lev Vygotsky 1896 –1934 This Russian psychologist believed that through social interactions with parents, teachers, etc. a child comes to learn the habits of her/his culture, including speech patterns, written language, and other symbolic knowledge through which the child derives meaning and allows them to construct her/his knowledge. Vygotsky also researched the importance of play on developing abstract thinking skills and in learning social rules of society. He believed in using less abstract presentations of material in the classroom, and letting students experience more real-world settings. A.R. Luria (1902-1977) Alexander Luria developed the "combined motor method," which helped diagnose individuals' thought processes, creating the first ever lie-detector device. His overall psychology approach fused "cultural," "historical," and "instrumental" psychology and is most commonly referred to presently as cultural-historical psychology. He also developed the Luria-Nebraska, a neuropsychological battery of tests that differs from standardized tests because the administrator has some flexibility. James V. Wertsch Wertsch's research is concerned with language, thought and culture. He has focused on collective memory and identity in countries such as Russia and Ukraine, and he is now examining these topics in the Republic of Georgia…a natural laboratory for the emergence of democracy and civil society,
Barbara Rogoffis an educator whose interests lie in understanding and communicating the different learning thrusts between cultures. She discusses Constructivist theorists Piaget and Vygotsky in relation to collaboration, the role of adult experts in the process of learning, peer interaction and community collaborative sociocultural activities. Patricia M. Greenfield believes that a single test may measure different abilities in different cultures. Her findings emphasized the importance of taking issues of cultural generality into account. She focuses on the role of the environment in the development of abilities, cultural beliefs, and values. Mary Gauvain studies how social and cultural processes contribute to children's acquisition, organization, and use of cognitive skills. A fundamental question about human cognition underlies her research. She describes theory and research on social contributions to cognitive development in four areas - attention, memory, problem solving, and planning. She also discusses family, peer, and community factors influence not only what a child learns, but also how learning occurs.
Jerome Seymour Bruner(1915- )Bruner's ideas are based on categorization. "To perceive is to categorize, to conceptualize is to categorize, to learn is to form categories, to make decisions is to categorize." Bruner maintains people interpret the world in terms of its similarities and differences. Like Bloom’s Taxonomy, Bruner suggests a system of coding in which people form a hierarchical arrangement of related categories. Bruner's work also suggests that a learner (even of a very young age) is capable of learning any material so long as the instruction is organized appropriately, in sharp contrast to the beliefs of Piaget and other stage theorists. Michael E. Cole and other psychologists have argued that cognitive processing does not accommodate the possibility that descriptions of intelligence may differ from one culture to another and across cultural subgroups. He has studied the role of micro-cultures in the cognitive and social development of children. He has been studying interactive video conferencing as a medium for teaching and inter-institutional collaboration, as well as after-school educational activities that make use of computer-based communication technologies.
Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005), was the co-founder of the national Head Start program. As a result of Bronfenbrenner's groundbreaking work in "human ecology", environments from the family to economic and political structures, have come to be viewed as part of the life course from childhood through adulthood. He spent many of his later years warning "The hectic pace of modern life poses a threat to our children second only to poverty and unemployment," he said. "We are depriving millions of children -- and thereby our country -- of their birthright … virtues, such as honesty, responsibility, integrity and compassion." Arnold Sameroff is examining infants with physiologic regulatory problems, children with depressed parents, and adolescents living in neighborhoods with few resources to support development. He is exploring the relation of risk and protective factors to issues of vulnerability and resilience. A major question is whether single individual or environmental factors have major consequences for developmental outcomes or whether it is the accumulation of a variety of risks, independent of their specific qualities, that is the determining influence.
Richard Lerner is known for his application of developmental science across the life span; developmental systems theory; personality and social development in adolescence; developmental methodology; programs and policies for children, youth, and families; university-community collaboration and outreach scholarship. Kurt Fischer His work focuses on the dynamic organization of behavior and the way it changes, especially cognitive development, social behavior, emotions, and brain bases. In his approach, called dynamic skill theory, he aims to integrate organismic and environmental factors. His research analyzes change and variation in a range of domains, including early reading skills; problem solving and co-construction; concepts of self in relationships; emotions; child abuse; and brain development. Esther Thelen (1942-2005) She and colleagues studied infant movement, perception and cognition and how perceptual motor skills in infancy can say much about how people will adapt later in life.
Gilbert Gottlieb (1929-2006) played the role as an intermediator between psychology and evolutionary biology. He proposed that altered developmental conditions gave rise to new behavioral phenotypes. Paul B. Baltes (1939-2006) His substantive work on wisdom, adaptation to age—related change, the elaboration of old age, the permanent incompleteness of human architecture, and biocultural co-constructivism of the human brain all reflect his visionary quest to understand human development. He recognized the interdependence of theory and method and promoted their joint improvement in such conceptions as the multidimensionality and multi-directionality of change and the simultaneous regard for gains and losses.
TAKING A LOOK AT SOME SPECIFIC THEORISTS AND THEIR MEASUREMENTS OF DEVELOPMENTAL TASKS…
impulsive/reflective reasoning… Jerome Kagan was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1929, the son of Joseph and Myrtle (Liebermann) Kagan. Kagan graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey in 1950 with a B.S. degree and in 1951 he married Cele Katzman; the couple have one daughter. Kagan earned his PhD from Yale University in 1954 and received an honorary master's degree from Harvard University in 1964. He also spent one year as an instructor in psychology at Ohio State University. Following two years as a psychologist at the U.S. Army Hospital at West Point, Kagan joined the Fels Research Institute in Yellow Springs, Ohio, as a research associate. In 1959, he became chairman of the Department of Psychology there.
impulsive/reflective reasoning… As part of his focus on ‘temperament’, Kagan studied individuals and how each approached a problem-solving task. Those children who are relatively slow and highly accurate in their work are called ‘reflective’. Those that work quickly and make more errors are ‘impulsive’. To measure whether a child is ‘reflective’ or ‘impulsive’… Kagan developed the MATCHING BEARS TASK.
impulsive/reflective reasoning… When administering the Matching Bears Task, the child is shown a picture of a bear. 6 more bear pictures are then revealed, and the child is asked to circle the one bear that matches the top bear. Curved chair back Square feet The child who circles the right bear AND gives good reasons why the other bears don’t match… is ‘reflective’. Tall chair back Bow on other side Looking up
impulsive/reflective reasoning… The child who circles the wrong bear OR who cannot give good reasons why the other bears do not match… is ‘impulsive’. I don’t know why this bear is different. One of the most valuable applications of the Impulsive/Reflective Reasoning Task is to a child’s ability to learn to read. A reflective child is more likely to take their time and sound out words. They learn to read more easily.
impulsive/reflective reasoning… MEASURES COGNITIVE ‘TEMPO’ OR PACE IMPULSIVE REFLECTIVE • THROUGH OBSERVATION AND TESTING, KAGAN MADE SEVERAL CONCLUSIONS: • Reflection increases with age • Impulsiveness or reflectiveness is fairly stable for the first 20 years, regardless of attempts to change it • Impulsiveness or reflectiveness shows up in the performance of many tasks • Impulsiveness or reflectiveness appears to be linked to personality.
impulsive/reflective reasoning… Schools tend to reward the reflective individuals. In the workplace, these individuals tend to be leaders. They fall back on reflective skills, mastering detail, analyzing, discussing, weighing alternatives, and thinking critically.
Erik Erikson’s block-building task… In addition to his more famous 8-stage theory of psycho-social development, Erik Erikson also theorized about social – emotional development. He believed that males develop a different pattern of thinking than females, partly due to genetics and partly due to environmental influences. Erikson developed a block-building task to demonstrate his theory.