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  1. 7 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Information Processing John W. Santrock

  2. Information Processing • The Information Processing Approach • Attention • Memory • Thinking • Metacognition

  3. The Information-Processing Approach What Is the Information-Processing Approach? • Focuses on ways people process information about their world • Manipulate information • Monitor it • Create strategies to deal with it • Effectiveness involves attention, memory, thinking

  4. The Information-Processing Approach Computers and Human Information Processing Fig. 7.1

  5. The Information-Processing Approach Simplified Model of Information Processing Fig. 7.2

  6. Mechanism by which information gets into memory Encoding Ability to process information with little or no effort Automaticity StrategyConstruction Discovering new procedure for processing information Cognition about cognition, or “knowing about knowing” Metacognition The Information-Processing Approach Mechanisms of Change

  7. The Information-Processing Approach Comparisons With Piaget’s Theory • Piaget • Constructivist • Cognitive capabilities and limits at points in development • Development occurs abruptly in distinct stages Information Processing • Constructivist • Cognitive capabilities and limits at points in development • Individuals develop gradually increasing capacity for information-processing

  8. The Information-Processing Approach Speed of Processing Information • Assessed using reaction time tasks • Changes in speed processing • Improves dramatically through childhood and adolescence • Changes due to myelination or experience? • Decline begins in early adulthood; continues in middle and late adulthood

  9. The Information-Processing Approach The Relation of Age to Reaction Time Fig. 7.3

  10. Does Processing Speed Matter? • Linked with competence in thinking • For many everyday tasks, speed is unimportant • Efficient strategies can compensate for slower reaction times and speed • Slower processing may be responsible for linking IQ and mortality

  11. What Is Attention? • Focusing of mental resources • Three ways attention can be allocated • Sustained attention • Selective attention • Divided attention

  12. State of readiness to detect and respond to small changes occurring at random times in environment; also called vigilance SustainedAttention Focusing on specific aspect of experience that is relevant while ignoring others SelectiveAttention Divided Attention Concentrating on more than one activity at a time Attention Types of Attention

  13. Attention Infancy • Newborns can detect contours and fixate • 4-month-olds have selective attention • Processes closely linked to attention • Habituation: decreased responsiveness to stimulus after repeated presentations • Dishabituation:recovery of a habituated response after change in stimulation

  14. Attention Childhood and Adolescence • Most research on selective attention • Cognitive control of attention shows changes • Preschooler attends to external salient stimuli • Child of 6 to 7 attentive to relevant information • Ability to shift attention increases with age; allows for more complex task involvement

  15. Attention Adulthood • Older adults may not be able to focus on relevant information as effectively as younger adults • Less adept at selective attention • Older adults (50-80) performed worse in the divided attention condition than two younger groups

  16. Memory What Is Memory? • Retention of information over time • Allows humans to span time in reflection over life’s activities • Memory has imperfections

  17. Memory Processes of Memory Fig. 7.4

  18. Memory Constructing Memories • Schema theory • Many reasons why memories are inaccurate • People construct and reconstruct memories; mold to fit information already existing in mind • Schemas: mental frameworks that organize concepts and information; affect encoding and retrieval

  19. Memory False Memories • New information such as questions or suggestions can alter memories • Concerns about • Implanting false memories in eyewitnesses • Accuracy of eyewitness testimonies at trials • Culture and gender linked to memory

  20. Memory Infancy • First Memories • Rovee-Collier infant memory experiments • Implicit memory: memory without conscious recollection; skills and routine done automatically • Explicit memory: conscious memory of facts and experiences; doesn’t appear until after 6 months

  21. Memory Infancy • Infantile Amnesia • Adults recall little or none of first three years • Also called childhood amnesia • Due to immaturity of prefrontal lobes in brain; play important role in memory of events

  22. Memory Childhood Memory • Considerable improvement after infancy • Short-term memory—memory span for up to 15 to 30 seconds without rehearsal • Working memory— kind of mental workbench for manipulating and assembling information • Make decisions, solve problems • Comprehend written and spoken language

  23. Memory Childhood Memory • Long-term memory — relatively permanent and unlimited type of memory • Children as eyewitnesses • Age differences in susceptibility • Individual differences in susceptibility • Interviewing techniques can cause distortions; determines if child’s testimony is accurate

  24. Memory Working Memory Model Fig. 7.8

  25. Memory Long-Term Memory Strategies • Activities to improveinformation processing • Rehearsal— repetition • Organizing— trying to group related information • Imagery — creating mental images • Elaboration— engaging in more extensive processing of information

  26. Memory Imagery and Memory of Verbal Information Fig. 7.9

  27. Memory Fuzzy Trace Theory • Memory best understood by considering two types of memory • Verbatim memory trace: precise details • Gist: central idea of information • Knowledge • Influences what people notice and how they organize, represent, interpret information

  28. Memory Working Memory and Processing Speed • Working memory performance peaked at 45 years of age, and declined at 57 years of age • Decline affected both new and old information • Working memory linked to • Reading and math achievement • Processing speed

  29. Memory Explicit Memory • Part of long-term memory; declarative memory • Episodic memory—retention of information about where and when of life’s happenings • Semantic memory—one’s knowledge about world • Fields of expertise • General academic knowledge • “Everyday knowledge”

  30. Memory Aging and Explicit Memory • Younger adults have better episodic memory than older adults • Older adults remember older events better than more recent events; take longer to retrieve semantic information • Older the semantic memory, the less accurate it is

  31. Memory Memory for Spanish as a Function of Age Since Spanish Was Learned Fig. 7.11

  32. Memory Aging and Implicit Memory • Memory of skills and routines, also called procedural memory • Less adversely affected by aging than explicit memory

  33. Memory Source Memory • Ability to remember where something was learned • Contexts of • Physical setting • Emotional setting • Identity of speaker • Failures increase with age in adult years; relevancy of information affects ability

  34. Memory Prospective Memory • Remembering to do something in the future • Age-related declines depend on task • Time-based tasks decline more • Event-based tasks show less decline

  35. Memory Influences on the Memory of Older Adults • Physiological and psychological factors • Health • Beliefs, expectations, and feelings • Education, memory tasks, assessment • Memory training • Method of loci • Chunking • Increasing attention

  36. Memory Memory, Age, and Time of Day Tested (A.M. or P.M.) Fig. 7.12

  37. Thinking What Is Thinking? • Manipulating and transforming information in memory • Reason, reflect, evaluate to make decisions • Concepts — categories that group things • Perceptual categorization: as young as 3 mos • Categorization increases in second year; infants differentiate more

  38. Thinking Critical Thinking • Grasping deeper meaning of ideas • Involves • Ask what, how, and why • Examine facts and determine evidence • Recognize one or more explanations exist • Compare various answers, select the best • Evaluate before accepting as truth • Speculate beyond what is known

  39. Thinking Critical Thinking • Few schools teach to students • Too much time spent getting single answer • Students not asked to analyze, create, rethink • Encourage by • Presenting controversial topics for discussion • Motivation to delve deeper into issues • Teachers refraining from giving own views

  40. Thinking Strategies for Critical Thinking • Children teach children — older help younger • Reciprocal teaching— small-group discussions • Jigsaw classroom—cross-talk sessions • Online computer consultation • Adults as role models • Create culture of learning, negotiating, sharing, and producing

  41. Thinking Scientific Thinking • Aimed at identifying causal relationships • Children • emphasize causal mechanisms • more influenced by happenstance than by overall pattern • Cling to old theories regardless of evidence • Have difficulty designing experiments

  42. Thinking Scientific Thinking • Children • Using strategies and rules to solve problems • Balance-scale problem illustrates rule use • Rule assessment approach: 90 percent of children 5 to 17 used one of the four rules • Analogical problem solving: • occurs as early as age 1 • Involves dissimilarity between things

  43. Thinking Thinking in Adolescence • Critical Thinking • If fundamental skills not developed during childhood, critical-thinking skills unlikely to mature in adolescence • Decision Making • Older adolescents appear to make more competent decisions than younger adolescents

  44. Thinking Thinking in Adulthood • Practical Problem SolvingImproves • Expertise — extensive, highly organized knowledge and understanding of particular domain • Use It or Lose It— practice helps cognitive skills • Cognitive Training— can help some if skills are being lost • Cognitive improvement tied to physical fitness

  45. Metacognition What Is Metacognition? • Knowledge about when and where to use particular strategies • Metamemory—knowledge about memory • Theory of mind—thoughts about how mental processes work

  46. Metacognition The Child’s Theory of Mind • Ages 2 to 3 — begin to understand • Perceptions • Desires • Emotions • Age 5 — realization of false beliefs • Middle and late childhood — mind seen as active constructor of knowledge

  47. Developmental Changes In False Belief Performance Fig. 7.14

  48. Metacognition Metamemory in Children • Limited in children • Preschoolers have • Inflated opinion of memories • Little appreciation for importance of memory cues • Understanding of memory abilities and skill in evaluating performance improves considerably by 11 to 12 years of age

  49. Metacognition Metacognition in Adolescence and Adulthood • Adolescents more likely than children to manage and monitor thinking • Middle age adults have accumulated a great deal of metacognitive knowledge • Older adults tend to overestimate memory problems they experience on daily basis

  50. 7 The End