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Flashcards in Child Development - Cognition & Intelligence Deck (67)
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What did Jean Piaget believe about cognitive development?

Intelligence is NOT a fixed trait

Cognitive development is a process which occurs due to biological maturation and interaction with the environment


How did Jean Piaget characterise age?

Age is characterised by the type of thinking that the children can engage in

It focuses on how they think, not what they know


What did Piaget say about genetic inheritance and intelligence?

Children are born with a inherited basic mental structure on which all subsequent learning and knowledge is based


What does Piaget's theory state about stages of development?

There are discrete stages of development marked by qualitative differences

rather than a gradual increase in number and complexity of behaviours


What are the 3 underlying basic concepts of cognitive development?

1. schemas

2. adaptation processes that enable transition from one stage to another

3. Piaget's 4 stages of cognitive development


What is a schema?

It is a building block of knowledge that allows formation of a mental representation of the world


What do schemas relate to?

Each schema relates to one aspect of the world

It may be an object, action or abstract concept


How do we use schemas?

they are used to understand and respond to situations

we store mental representations and apply them when needed


How would a schema for buying food in a restaurant work?

the schema is a stored form of the pattern of behaviour which includes looking at a menu, ordering, paying, etc.

This type of schema is a script


What happens to schemas as a child gets older?

The schemas become more numerous and more elaborate


Are new-born babies born with any schemas?

Neonatal schemas underly innate reflexes


What are the 3 adaptation processes involved in intellectual growth?

1. assimilation

2. accommodation

3. equilibration


What is assimilation?

Using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation


What is accommodation?

When an existing schema does not work, it is changed to deal with a new object/situation


What is equilibration?

The force which moves development along

cognitive development progresses in leaps and bounds rather than a steady rate


What is the process that occurs when encountering a new situation?

1. assimilation

2. equilibration

3. new situation

4. disequilibrium

5. accommodation


When does equilibrium occur?

When a child's schemas can deal with most information through assimilation


When does disequilibrium occur?

When new information cannot be fitted into existing schemas


What are Piaget's 4 stages of cognitive development and at what age do they occur?

sensorimotor stage - birth - 2 years

pre-operational stage - 2 -7 years

concrete operational stage - 7 - 11 years

formal operational stage - 11 years onwards


How are children under 7 distinguished from those who are older?

Children over the age of 7 can engage in operational thinking


What is the main achievement during the sensorimotor stage?

What does it require?

Object permanence

It requires the ability to form a schema of the object

It is knowing the object still exists even if it is hidden


What age is object permanence achieved?

around 8 months

can arise as early as 4 months


How do children in the sensorimotor stage "think"?

They think only by doing

They get to know the physical environment through seeing and touching


What is the main achievement during the pre-operational stage?

Children begin to think about things symbolically

This is the ability to make one thing stand for something other than itself


What is thinking like during the pre-operational stage?


The child has a very self-centred view of the world and has difficulty taking the viewpoint of others


How do children focus on a particular situation during the pre-operational stage?

What is this called?

They tend to focus on only one aspect of the situation and neglect other aspects which may be relevant

Visual appearance of the situation is the primary factor



What is the 3 mountain problem?

A child is asked to describe what a doll would be able to see from the other side of the mountain


What is the 3 mountain problem used to assess?

Whether a child is able to take other people's perspectives and whether they have developed theory of mind


What is theory of mind?

The capacity for children to understand that other individuals have different perspectives


At what age does theory of mind develop?

Around age 4 onwards