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Cognitive Development in Humans Notes

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Cognitive Development Notes

Jean Piaget

 Published in 1952, from decades of observation of children, including his own

 Children's knowledge composed of schemas: basic units of knowledge used to organize past experiences and serve as a basis for new ones

 Schemas are constantly being modified by assimilation and accommodation

Assimilation and Accommodation

 Assimilation: taking in new information by incorporating into an existing schema (we assimilate new experiences by relating them to thing we already know)

 Accommodation: when the schema changes to accommodate new knowledge

Overview of Piaget's Theory

 Four distinct, universal stages

 Each stage is characterized by increasingly sophisticated levels of thought

 Stages occur in order

 Each stage builds on what was learned in the previous stage

 Criticisms?

 People develop at different rates

Stage One: Sensorimotor

 Busy discovering relationships between their bodies and the environment

 Research has shown that infants have well developed sensory abilities; child relies on seeing, touching, sucking, feeling;

 Use senses to learn about themselves and the environment

 According to Piaget, intelligence appears from sensory perceptions and motor activities

 Concept of separate selves: world is not an extension of themselves

 Increased ability to coordinate separate activities (looking and reaching)

 Object permanence: around 10 months of age, object continues to exist even while not in view

 Directed groping: perform motor experiments to see what will happen (vary movements)

 Begins to recognize cause-and -effect; development of intentionally

 Stage runs from birth to age 2, but truly ends when child uses words as symbols

Stage Two: Preoperational

 Will react to all similar objects as though they are identical (all women are "mommy" ; all men are "daddy")

 Thought is transductive:

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