Lecture 3: Cognitive development & Memory Flashcards Preview

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Theory: Piaget (1936)

Constructive: children construct knowledge through interaction with the environment
Schemas: organised ways of making sense of experience that change with age
-initially action based
(building blocks of knowledge)

-disagreed with the idea that intelligence was a fixed trait
-regarded cognitive development as a process which occurs due to biological maturation and interaction with the environment.



=”a cohesive, repeatable action sequence possessing component action that are tightly interconnected and governed by a core meaning” Piaget (1952)
-ways of organising knowledge
-linked mental representations of the world
state of equilibrium= child's schemas capable of explaining what is can perceive around it

• As age schemas acquire more schemas and they become detailed
• Small amount innate-genetic reflexes eg sucking, grasping reflexes


Adaptation: assimilation

=using existing schemas to deal with new objects/situations


Adaptation: accommodation

=when existing schemas don't work, have to adapt to deal with new object/situation


Adaptation: Equilibrium

=force that drives development
-dont like to be frustrated so restore balance by dealing new info through assimilation


Sensorimotor stage

Birth to 2 years
Object permanence=knowing that an object still exists even if you can’t see
• Requires ability to form a mental representation (i.e schema) of the object

-'A not B' task 12-18 months
=once learn objects have a permanent associated with particular spacial location , difficult to break that association


Pre-operational stage

2-7 years
=Ability to think about things symbolically
•Thinking is still egocentric, infant struggles understanding the viewpoint of others

-false belief-believe something different from the reality of the world around you

*3 mountains experiment

-Inability to conserve/ understand hierarchical classification
*beakers experiment


Concrete operational stage

*Piaget considered important stage of cognitive development as is beginning of logical/operation thought
=Child can work things out internally in their head
Can conserve number, mass and weight
Conservation=understanding that something stays the same in quantity even though its appearance changes


Formal operation stage

11 years and over
=Develop ability to think about abstract concepts and logically test hypotheses.


Evaluation of Piaget's theory

•Influence in education: children are active learners, learn best through doing and activity exploring/discovery
•'platform' for future research


Evaluation of Piaget's theory

•Doesn’t include effect of social setting/culture
•Studies have shown Piaget underestimated abilities of children as test were too difficult/confusing
•cognitive development may not be so stage-like and domain general as he thought


Vygotsky's sociocultural theory

•Cognition is based on social interaction & language
•Focus on the role of culture (values, beliefs, customs, skills of social group): will influence your cognitive development
Agreed with Piaget about infants constructing knowledge but thought that cognitive development was socially mediated
•Inner speech that children use language to direct their learning


Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

•Relates to difference between what child can achieve independently and with guidance from a skilled partner
•Area where most sensitive instruction should be given, allowing child to develop skilled they’ll use independently, developing higher mental functions
•Also views interactions with peers as an effective way of developing skills and strategy
•Suggests teachers use cooperate learning exercises where less competent children develop with help from more skilful peers-within ZPD

•Range of tasks possible only with help of others: optimal learning occurs
•Can complete a task but only with a bit of help-where scaffolding come in
•Need someone sensitive to the amount of help and type if help youre going to need to complete that task


Private Speech

•Language as basis for higher cognitive processes
•Building block in terms of cognitive development, that language was the thing that enabled them to build up to higher cognitive processes
•the moment in development where language and thought come together to constitute verbal thinking. Way for children to plan activities and strategies therefore aid their development



•Two can arrive at a shared understanding



•Adjust support relative to performance


Guided participation

•Shared endeavour between expert and novice


Evaluation of Vygotsky's theory

•Highlights role of culture
•Highlights value of teaching
•Vague in explanation of change-lacks detail



=ability to encode, store and retrieve information


Semantic memory

=knowledge about the world


Episodic memory

=information specific to a time or place


Storing information

•Children <7 yrs do not use spontaneously
• Initially use less effectively, e.g, word list, have to remember eg book, car, sun-tend to repeat word just heard rather than adding to end of list, don’t recognise need to keep rehearsing previous items


Storing information

From ~ 8 yrs
• Young children use everyday associations
• •Older children use taxonomic categories, e.g., ‘vehicles’
•When start using these strategies, young children initially show utilisation and control deficiencies (use it but don’t use strategy very well) (don’t control very effectively)
•Elaboration: Not seen until end of middle childhood


Retrieving information
Fuzzy-Trace Theory
(Brainerd & Reyna)

•Verbatim (remember all the details, decays much faster)) vs. Gist memory (remembering roughly what happened) (less detail but longer lasting)
•Verbatim memory decays faster
•Younger children rely more on verbatim (why their memory is less good, don’t use gist memory as much as they should), older children rely more on gist


Eye-witness memory

•Compared to older children, young children’s free recall of events is as accurate but less complete
•Free recall better for everyone because answers tend to have less contamination or be inaccurate
•But young children don’t tend to say much so have to get more specific which can be dangerous as accuracy level can drop
•Children don’t have same understanding as to why you would ask a question twice, so will think they have to give a different answer because why would you otherwise as the same question again if the first answer was ok-contextual issue