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basics of Piagets theory

Knowledge is the product of action
* Physical maturation and exposure to experiences
* Naturalistic observation
* All children pass through a series of 4 stages from birth through adolescence


* Mental structure- organize patterns of functioning
* Adapt and change with development



* Event or stimulus is acted upon, perceiver, and understood according to existing scheme



* Change is existing ways of thinking, understanding, or behaving; modification of scheme



* Six stages
* Individual differences
* Transitions include characteristics of previous/subsequent stages

Sensorimotor period


Sensorimotor Period: Sub-stage 1
Simple reflexes

* First month of life
* Inform reflexes
* Sucking
* Grasping
* Orientating
* Movements are random- but some reflexes will begin to accommodate the infants experiences


Sensorimotor Period: Sub-stage 2
First habits- primary circular reactions

* 1 to 4 months of age
* Reflexes become sensorimotor schemes
* Coordinate separate actions
* Circular reactions- chance event leads to cognitive scheme
* Primary circular reaction
* Activities of interest repeated


Sensorimotor Period: Sub-stage 3
Secondary circular reactions

* 4 to 8 months
* Babies realize they are separate from the world
* Infant activity involves actions related to external world
* Dropping and throwing schemes, repetition
* Actions have reaction; cooing makes mom smile, hitting mobile makes it move
* Secondary circular actions
* Schemes of repeated actions causes a desirable consequence
* Actions are not intentional


Sensorimotor Period: Sub-stage 4
Coordination of secondary circular reactions

* 8 to 12 months
* Intentional and goal-directed behavior
* Several schemes combined and coordinated to generate a single act to solve a problem
* Means to attain particular ends and skill in anticipating future circumstances
* Mastering object performance


Sensorimotor Period: Sub-stage 5
Tertiary circular reactions

* 12 to 18 months
* Development of schemes regarding deliberate variation of actions that bring desirable consequences
* Carrying out miniature experiments to observe consequences


Sensorimotor Period: Sub-stage 6
Beginnings of thought

* 18 months to 2 years
* Capacity for mental representation or symbolic thought
* Understanding causality
* Ability to pretend
* Deferred imitation


Preoperational Thinking

* Ages 2 to 7 years
* Time of stability and change
* Use of operations at the end of this stage


* Ability to use symbols, words, or objects to represent something that is not physically present

* Symbolic function


* Preschoolers do not understand that others have different perspectives from their own



* Lack of awareness that others see things from a different physical perspective



* Failure to realize that others may hold thoughts, feelings, and points of view that differ from theirs



leads preschoolers to believe that they know answers to all kinda of questions, but there is little or no logical basis and their reasoning is primitive
* Curiosity blossoms and answers to a wide variety of questions are sought
* Children often act as authorities on particular topics

intuitive thought


what you see is what you think
* the key element and limitation of preschool thinking
* Involved inability to consider all available information about stimulus
* Superficial, obvious elements within sight



* Learning that appearances are deceiving
* The knowledge that quantity is unrelated to arrangement and physical appearance
* Transformation: one state changed into another
* Santa Claus



* 7-12 years
* Active and appropriate use of logic
* Conservation mastered
* Decentering- less egocentric, can consider multiple aspect or perspectives
* Identity and reversibility- things stay the same regardless of shape, size, and appearance

concrete operational thought


formal operational stage

* 12-15 years
* The ability to think beyond the concrete, current situation
* Ability to consider abstract possibilities
* Tolerate some ambiguity
* Deductive reasoning
* Propositional though- if/then scenarios
* All rectangles have four lines, all squares are rectangles, all squares have four lines


* Use of formal operational stage begins in adolescence but emerges 3 things

* Physical maturation
* Environmental experience
* Adolescents’ job to question authority j


Children begin to grow intellectually and act independently because of the assistance adults and peer partners provide
* Cognitive growth is the result of exposure to information



social interactions help children learn so they are...

children are apprentices guided in participation


* New information = challenging enough to be intriguing; does not overwhelm
* Greater improvement with help; greater improvement within
(acquired skills into mastery skills, ex. reading)

zone of proximal development


support for learning and problem solving encourages independence/overall cognitive growth
(making cookies, helping the child, you put tray in oven- helps them learn how to cook)



* Positive emotional bond that develops between a child and a particular, special individual
* Most important aspect of infant social development



describe harry harlowes monkey matter

Baby monkeys taken away from mother and giving option of wood monkey covered in cloth or food. Babies chose cloth because it was about that comfort and nothing else matter but that comfort


* Earliest human research = needs for safety and security
* Attachment = home base who best provides safety and security
* Children gain independence roam further from secure base



Ainsworth's work to measure attachment

Sequence of staged episodes that illustrate strength of attachment between child and (typically) mother


children with stranger and attachment leaves. then child is relieved when mother or attachment comes back

strange situation


* Securely attached; mother will leave and will come to distress, but knows she will come back in attachment



* Not securely attached. Doesn’t quite care if the mother is there or not. Parent is not providing that positive unconditional regard in attachment



* Lashes out at the parent maybe by hitting to get anger out. Tends to be less exploratory in attachment



* No pattern at all (pretty rare) in attachment

disorganized disorientated


* From earliest months social with peers

* Show more interest in peers than inanimate objects
* Smile and laugh
* Show preference for familiar peers


* By 9 to 12 months social with peers

* Present and accept toys from peers
* Play social games


As memory develops, infants develop
* Ability to recognize familiar people
* Ability to anticipate and predict events
* Display fear at the appearance of an unknown person (6 months)

stranger anxiety


* Distress when care provider leaves
* A universal phenomenon around 7 or 8 months
* Peaks around 14 months and then levels out
* Evolutionary feature

seperation anxiety


after birth, depending on the caregiver a lot as dependency and attachment



non verbal expressions of emotions

being able to sense that feeling. babies can sense stress or unhappiness from a mother


social references 2 explanations

(see) Observing someone else’s facial expression brings about that emotion
(think) Viewing another’s facial expression provides information


emotional control and empathy around 2

talking about feelings to other and tries emotion regulation strategies


emotional control and empath in preschool

* Regulating and negotiating negative emotions
* Use of language
* Empathy grows
* Emotional and cognitive responses


self regulation improves in



an idea of the self constructed from the beliefs one holds about oneself and the responses of others.

self concept


* Psychoanalytic Theory of Identity from birth through late adulthood
* Personality development past adolescence/biological and sociocultural forces
learn and develop or get stuck

eriksons psychosocial stages of development


* The period during which teenagers seek to determine what is unique and distinctive about themselves
* They will find out the roles they will play in the future and find out who they really are through those roles narrowing their choices
* Difficulties are to form and maintain close relationships and might adopt socially inappropriate roles and fail to an acceptable identity to prevent it
* High school and the whole experience of high school; having friends, teachers, taking classes to figure out what you want to do, exploring different clubs, activities, sports, etc.

Identity vs. role confusion stage 12-18 years


* According to Erikson, the period during which infants develop a sense of trust or mistrust, largely depending on how well their needs are met by caregivers
* Development whether child will grow up trusting or mistrusting
* How the caregiver meets our needs
* If they don’t, child will be mistrusted and see the world as harsh and negative
* If the parent doesn’t give the attention in infancy

Trust vs. mistrust 18 months of life


* Independence is autonomy
* How much freedom your parent gives you
* Ability to make your own decisions
* More confidence when you’re independent
* Secure attachment, kid will be free to explore their world
* Kids are always told no, they go towards other things and stop trusting themselves

Autonomy vs. shame and doubt stage 18 months-3 years


* Conflict between positive and negative action consequences
* Language skills at this point
* Important event
* Independence of activities
* Making a mess, get yelled at, know it’s something you shouldn’t do and know not to do it again
* Makes them feel like they can make an impact

Initiative vs. guilt stage 3-6 years


* Working, planning, share with others
* Taking on new challenges
* Working and cooperating with peers and others
* School
* Doing good in school, will be successful because they have that capability

Industry vs. inferiority stage 6-12 years


* Developing close and intimate relationships to others
* Friendships that will take place of parental relationships
* Be aware of others feelings as well

Intimacy vs. isolation stage post 18-30 years


* Activity or stagnation
* Stagnation is lack of psychoanalytic growth
* Feel like contributed little or nothing to the world
* Generatively is contributed to family, work, meaningful career

Generatively vs. stagnation stage 30-65 years


* Adapting to success and disappointments in prior stages
* Looking back on ones life
* Reflections
* Responsibilities of one’s life and service
* Have I made contributions?
* Has my life been meaningful?

Ego integrity vs. despair stage 65-death


right thing to do to society

moral behavior


* Moral conduct learned through reinforcement/modeling
* By watching others, social learning theory
* Observing moral conduct, children are reminded of connections and behaviors and society’s norms about importance of moral behavior

social learning theory


selfless, sacrificing somethings



actions to help others

prosocial behavior


heart of moral behavior. Identify with other suffering people, empathy causes moral conscious



inspired by Piaget in that he believed our moral development was tied to our physical maturation and understanding of the world. Thus, we are unable to form a broader perspective of moral behavior and decision-making because of our physical and experiential limitations when we are young.
what is right and wrong

Kohlberg's theory of moral development


behavior when faced with moral issues•Changes in sense of justice and of right and wrong•Changes in behavior related to moral issues

Moral Development


______ grows as children learn to monitor and regulate their emotional and cognitive responses



People follow unvarying rules (rewards and punishments)

Preconventional Morality (stages 1 and 2):


People approach problems in terms of their own position as good, responsible members of society

Conventional Morality (stages 3 and 4):


Universal moral principles are invoked and considered broader than a particular society

Postconventional Morality (stages 5 and 6):


Physical or psychological mistreatment or neglect of elderly individuals•May affect as much as 11 percent of elderly •Is most frequently committed by a family member•Often the result of a combination of economic, psychological, and social pressures on caregivers•Best approach for dealing with abuse is prevention

elder abuse


Motivated by desire to obtain a concrete goal–Higher in boys than girls

Instrumental aggression


Nonphysical with intent to hurt another’s feelings –Higher in girls than boys

•Relational aggression


Observation of televised aggression does/does not lead to subsequent aggression



Observation of media violence can lead to...

a greater readiness to act aggressively, initiate bullying, and adopt an insensitivity to the suffering of victims of violence


ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.

emotional self regulation


characteristics of middle childhood friendships

Friends in Middle Childhood
* Provide emotional support/help children handle stress
* Teach children emotional regulation
* Teach communication with others
* Foster intellectual growth
* Allow chided to practice relationship skills

High Status Children
* ​Form friendships with other high status children
* More likely to form exclusive and desirable cliques
* Tend to play with a greater number of children
* Have greater access to resources such as games, toys, books, and information


* Groups of 2 to 12 with frequent interaction with one another

* Cliques


* Larger groups share common characteristics may not interact with one another

* Crowds


* Popular adolescences; most liked
* Controversial adolescents; liked by some/disliked by others

* High status categories


* Rejected teens; uniformly disliked
* Neglected teens; neither liked nor disliked

* Low status categories


US families today average kids and cost

2 kids spend: $233,000 per child before 18


impact of poverty on children

* Fewer basic everyday resources
* More disruptions
* Higher stress
* Unsafe neighborhoods
* Higher rates of violence
* Inferior schools
* Poorer academic performance
* Higher rates of aggression


empty nest

when kids leave home



when kids come back home after leaving; money issues


sandwich generation

Middle Aged Couples Caring for Children and Elderly Parents
* Having children later
* Parents living longer
* Role reversal and financial or physical burden