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1

Piaget
What limitations of behaviorism was Piaget responding to?

He said that kids are active agents on their environment and thinking.

A responce to behaviorinsm that children just imitate other’s behaviors or that their behavior is so strictly limited to just reacting to reinforcemnt/punishment

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Jean Piaget

Developed the first theory of cognitive development (circa 1920s):
– Infant cognition
– Language development
– Conceptual development
– Math and Science
– Moral development

As a child, he was extremely brilliant

When he had his own children, he got interested and involved in child development study

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Piaget's Most Profound Contribution

Children are “little scientists”

Intelligence not random, but set of organized cognitive structure infant constructs.
Schemas that are built off of experience.

Learn on their own from experimenting with objects in their environment

Intrinsic motivation

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Piaget’s Principles on Change

Distinct changes: Children in different stages think in
qualitatively different ways

Applies to all areas: Children’s level of thinking applies to everything they encounter

Fast changes: Changes happen relatively quickly--- sometimes overnight!

No skipping! All children progress through each stage linearly

Discontinuous stages!

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Stability in Piaget’s Theory

From birth through out the life span these 3 learning processes operate together:

Adaptation: build schemes through direct interaction
– Assimilation: incoming information is incorporated into existing mental schema
– Accommodation: create new schemes or adjust old ones

Equilibration – Balance between assimilation and accommodation

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Boo and “Kitty” (Sully) from Monsters Inc.

Why do you think Boo calls Sully “Kitty?”

she doesn’t have a schema for a monster, so she has a breif moment of disequilibirum as she assimilates Sully as a “kitty”

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Equilibrium and Disequilibrium

Use assimilation during equilibrium

Disequilibrium prompts
accommodation

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Using Assimilation and Accommodation:

Organization

Internal rearranging and linking schemes

Creates a strongly interconnected cognitive system

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Piaget’s Stages

– Sensorimotor stage
(birth to 2 years)

– Pre-operational stage
(2 to 7 years)

– Concrete Operational stage
(7 to 12 years)

– Formal Operational stage
(12 years and older)

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Sensorimotor Stage

Birth to 2 years

Intellectual functioning is organized around sensing information and performing actions accordingly

Building schemas through sensory and motor exploration

6 substages of development

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6 Substages of the Sensorimotor Stage

1. Reflexes
2. Primary Circular Reactions
3. Secondary Circular Reactions
4. Refined Secondary Circular Reactions
5. Tertiary Circular Reactions
6. Representations and Symbols

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Sensorimoter Substage 1:

Reflexes (0–1 month)

Reflexes are the initial, innate building blocks of human cognitive growth

Development occurs as the reflexes are applied to more and more objects and events in the environment

Constitute the infant’s first schemes (i.e., grasping)

No attempt to locate objects that have disappeared

Peek-A-Boo: when you cover face, you disappeared

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Sensorimotor Substage 2:

Schemes (2–4 months)

Individual schemes become progressively more skilled and attuned to the environment

Coordination or integration of previously independent schemes

For example, the coordination of sensory information, such as visual and auditory

Primary circular reactions – stumbles upon new discovery and repeats (i.e., thumb-sucking, crying for food)

No attempt to locate objects

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Sensorimotor Substage 3:

Procedures (5–8 months)

In Substage 3 actions are directed outward on the environment

The schemes develop into procedures of actions that produce interesting effects in the world
– Initially accidental
– Repeated over time for desired result

Consequently, the procedure gets repeated

Secondary circular reactions: repeating something again out of interest

Like throwing a spoon on the floor, liking the sound, and then doing in over and over again to hear the noise and to see the parent’s response and

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Sensorimotor Substage 4:

Intentional Behavior (9 - 12 mos)

In previous substage, infant accidentally produces some outcome then repeats it

In this substage, infant engages in intentional, goal-directed behavior

Ability to use one scheme (i.e., pushing aside obstacles) as a means to another scheme —the end of a goal (i.e., playing with a toy)

“The first actually intelligent behavior patterns.” – Piaget

Secondary circular reactions become well-coordinated

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Sensorimotor Substage 4:

Intentional Behavior (9 - 12 mos)

Infants begin to master object permanence (an object continues to exist even when it is out of sight)

Babies make the A-not-B search error

Reach several times for object in first hiding place (A), then see it moved to a second (B), infant still searches for object in the first hiding place

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Sensorimotor Substage 5: Experimentation (13–18 months)

Active, trial-and-error exploration of the world, either in response to some specific problem that needs to be solved or simply to see what happens if something new is tried

“The discovery of new means through active experimentation.” – Piaget

Before this substage, the infant produces known actions that will produce mostly known outcomes

Here infant produces NEW actions and observes effects

Tertiary circular reactions: exploring objects by acting on them in novel ways

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Sensorimotor Substage 6:

Representation (19–24 months)

Emergence of representational ability or the ability to use one thing (i.e., a mental image, a word) to stand for something else

In the substage infants start to think and act on the world internally
– Naming an object that is not currently present but just thought of
– Deferred imitation: witnessing an action but reproducing it later
– Pretend play

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Violation-of-Expectation Method

Assesses infants’ knowledge, based on their attention to events consistent versus inconsistent with reality

Controversial
– Some critics believe it indicates only nonconscious
awareness of physical events
– Others maintain it reveals only perceptual preference for novelty

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Baillargeon

Do infants understand that unseen objects continue to exist and have certain properties?

Found that 3.5 month old infants understand that unseen objects continue to exist.

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Object Representation vs. Manual Search

Diamon (1987) claimed that infants search at A (where they found the object on previous reaches) instead of B its most recent location) because they have trouble inhibiting
– Failure to coordinate means-ends behavior (suggested by Piaget)

Premature brain
– Inability to inhibit dominant responses is the result of premature prefrontal cortex

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Alternate Explanations

Core knowledge perspective: infants born with core domains of knowledge

Permits a ready grasp of new related information and supports early, rapid development

Genetically prepared to understand environment

Infants born with counting abilities

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Revised Consensus

Many cognitive changes of infancy are gradual and continuous rather than abrupt and stage-like

Aspects of infant cognition change unevenly because of the challenges posed by different experiences

Piaget’s enormous contribution inspired a wealth of research on infant cognition

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According to Piaget, infants’ very first schemes are

sensorimotor action patterns.

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In Piaget’s theory, __________ involves building schemes through direct interaction with the environment.

adaptation

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In Piaget’s theory, during __________, toddlers use their current schemes to interpret the external world.

ASSIMILATION

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According to Piaget, in accommodation, children

create new schemes or adjust old ones.

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Some critics argue that the violation-of-expectation method is flawed because

it reveals only babies’ perceptual preference for novelty, not their knowledge of the physical world.

The violation-of-experiment method is based on infants’ tendancy to stare longer at things that go against their expectations, based on the preface that infants are born with an innate ability to sense when things are possible or not

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Explain the core knowledge perspective of cognitive development.

What do critics say about the perspective?

Doesn’t incorporate the toddlers’ experience

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INFORMATION PROCESSING APPROACH

Similarity with Piaget:
Children as active, inquiring beings

Difference:
Acknowledges numerous components of children’s thinking:
– Attention
– Memory
– Categorization
– Complex Problem Solving

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The 3 PARTS OF THE MENTAL SYSTEM

Sensory Register

Short-Term Memory Store

Central Executive

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Sensory Register

Sights and sounds represented and stored briefly

Attend: active focus on some stimuli to the exclusion of other; interest piqued

Think of the airport slide

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Short-Term Memory Store

Info perceived and attended to is transferred into short-term memory

Stored in working memory ---> limited number of items are stored/organized or discarded
– “Bedrock for all thinking processes”

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CENTRAL EXECUTIVE

“CRUCIAL” Part of Working Memory

Coordinates incoming information

Selects, applies, and monitors strategies

Conscious part of our mental system

Gives priority to certain activities

Think Driving

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INFORMATION PROCESSING SYSTEMS

Long-term memory
– Permanent knowledge base
– Challenge becomes retrieval
– Information categorized by content

Improvements in speed, working memory, and executive functioning PERMIT more complex thinking

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EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING

Allows us to achieve end desire in situation
– Attention
– Suppressing impulses,
Delay-Of-Gratification
– Monitoring thought & behavior

• Task persistence
• Self-control
• Academic Achievement
• Interpersonal Acceptance
(Accepting oneself)

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ATTENTION

2-3 months: shift from single high-contrast features to exploring objects and patterns thoroughly

Infants & toddlers become better at taking in new information
• Pre-term infants: 3-4 minutes
• 4-5 months: 5–10 seconds

Sustained Attention

Habituation paradigm capitalizes on infants’ tendency to get bored with old stimuli and sustain interest in new novelty things.
Younger infants take longer to get bored with things

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MEMORY

Retention:
– 1 item at 6 months
– 2-4 items at 12 months

Detected during infancy using two methods:
– Operant Conditioning
• Mobile conjugate reinforcement procedure: Learn operant kicking for visual and auditory reinforcement
– Habituation
– Recall

On average, 7 plus or minus 2 items held in short-term memory
Perhaps the reason why phone numbers are 7 digits

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OPERANT CONDITIONING

APPLICATION (Kraebel, 2012):

How does detection of redundant amodal information function within complex learning processes in human infants?

Amodal: utilizing two or more senses at once

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KRAEBEL (2012)

Participants
– 36 3-month-old infants
– Randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups

Procedure
– All groups: one experimental session
– Kick rates during the last 3 min session measured learning
Represents the baseline

Infants’ mean kick rate during the baseline and test phases as a function of the amodal redundancy present during the acquisition phase: Amodal None (infants did not hold an object during acquisition), Amodal Match (infants viewed cylinders and held a cylinder during acquisition) or Amodal Mismatch (infants viewed cylinders and held a rectangular cuboid during acquisition).

Learning inhibited when there’s inconsistent amodal stimuli

the cylinder group kicked the most

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WHAT DO KREABEL’S RESULTS MEAN?

Infants given matching amodal properties while learning an operant response showed better operant learning than infants who did not hold any object

Infants who held mismatched object showed inhibited learning

Inersensory Redundancy Hypothesis (Bahrick & Lickliter,
2000):
Providing redundant information across 2 or more sensories makes the amodal info more salient

Infants’ mean kick totals during the acquisition phase as a function of amodal redundancy: Amodal None (infants did not hold an object), Amodal Match (infants viewed cylinders and held a cylinder) or Amodal Mismatch (infants viewed cylinders and held a rectangular cuboid).

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MEMORY IMPROVES RAPIDLY FROM 2–19 MONTHS

,...

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HABITUATION

Infants do not need to be physically active to learn about the environment
• Visually attend to the movement of objects or actions and remember

3 to 5-month-olds memory for faces of unfamiliar people =>
24hrs
• Memory for unusual movement of objects can last 3 months

10 to 12-months =>
better memory of novel actions and features of objects

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BAHRICK, GOGATE, & RUIZ, 2002

What is salient to the infant, visually attended to, and remembered, what is less salient?

Infant memory for faces and actions of women performing different repetitive activities

Different ethnicities on purpose

Repetitive actions of people are more salient to infant than appearance of faces
• Robust discrimination and long-lasting memory for action 7-weeks later

No evidence at 1-min or 7-weeks for retaining face of the individual performing the actions

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RECALL MEMORY

Recognition: noticing when a stimulus is identical or similar to one previously experienced

Recall: requires remembering something not present
• Improves with age
• 1 year olds can retain short sequences of adult-modeled behavior for up to 3 months
• 1.5 year olds can do so for 12 months

Long-term recall depends on connections among multiple
regions of prefrontal cortex
• Recall assessed through deferred imitation at 20months predicts performance on memory tests at age 6

There’s some stability in memory ability over time.
Genetic reasons?
Environmental reasons?

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CATEGORIZATION

Grouping similar objects or events into a single representation

Categorize on basis of shape, size, and physical qualities during first 3 months

After 6 months – categorize on the basis of 2 correlated features (i.e., shape/color of letter)
• Group objects into an impressive array of categories
• Sort emotional and social experiences

After 12 months, better able to detect complex relations

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CHANGES IN CATEGORICAL UNDERSTANDING

14-month-olds demonstrate the ability to shift between identifying objects by color to shape to texture

18-months-olds understand distinction between inanimate and animate objects.
Move inanimate objects in linear motion.

22-month-olds move animate object in nonlinear motion!

How do infant/toddler(s) arrive at such changes?

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HOW CHANGE OCCURS

Become increasingly sensitive to fine-grained perceptual features and to stable relations

Perceptual to conceptual shift

BOTH VIEWS:
• Learning through exploration
• Expanding knowledge of world
• Vocabulary growth
• Adult intervention

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EVALUATION

Contributors:
• Underscores continuity of thinking from infancy to adulthood
• Infants as sophisticated beings
• Analyzing cognition in terms of components
• Perception, attention, memory, categorization

Limitation
• Struggles to put components together as cohesive whole

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SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY

Lev Vygotsky

Social and cultural contexts affect the way child’s cognitive world is structured

Indirect social support:
• Joint attention
• Social referencing
• Social Scaffolding

Zone of proximal development
• The range of behaviors between what children can do with no assistance and what they can do with social support

Joint Attention: PArent tells child, “look at that plane,” and the child looks.

Social Referencing: Think of the visual cliff when parents were smiling on the other side of the deeper cliff which causes them to do something that they would otherwise be unlikely to do

One residual effect of this theory:
Children as acting both as a teacher and as student