Piaget's Theory Of Cognitive Development Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Piaget's Theory Of Cognitive Development Deck (39):

When does cognition development occur?

Through the child's interaction and adaption to the environment. Using mental structures known as:
Function invariants -assimilation, accommodation and equilibration
Variant Structures - Schemas


What are the mental structures of cognition and development?

Functional Invariants - Assimilation, Accommodation and Equilibration

Variant Structure - Schemas


What is assimilation?

The process where new environmental experiences are incorporated into existing schemas


What is accommodation?

The process of altering existing schemas to accommodate new experiences.


What is equilibration?

The restoration of a pleasant state of balance (equilibrium) achieved through accommodation


What does Piaget believe?

That our ability to learn changes as we grow


How does Piaget see thought processes?

As qualitative changes as children age, with biological processes directing these changes.


What order does a child achieve equilibrium?

Assimilation - new
incorporated into
existing schemas.
Accommodation - altering existing
schemas to accommodate new
Equilibrium - the pleasant state of
balance being restored.


What are the four hierarchical and qualitative stages of cognitive development?

Sensorimotor - 0-2yrs
Pre-operational - 2-7yrs
Concrete operational - 7-11yrs
Formal operational-11+yrs


What are the characteristics of the stages?

Object permanence



Class Inclusion


What is object permanence?

The understanding that objects still exist even if they cannot be seen


What is conservation?

The understanding that a change in appearance does no change it's physical properties


What is egocentrism?

An inability to understand a situation from another's point of view.


What is class inclusion?

The understanding that a subordinate category cannot be later than a superordinate category


What was the aim of the Research for Object permanence

- Blanket and Ball study -

Aim: Piaget wanted to investigate at what age children acquire object permanence


What was the procedure of the Blanket and Ball study?

Piaget hid a toy under a blanket, while the child was watching, and observed whether or not he child searched for the hidden toy.
Piaget assumed that children could only search for the hidden toy if they had a mental representation of it.


What were the results of the blanket and all study?

Infants searched for the toy when they were around 8 months of age


Conclude and Evaluate the blanket and call study

Children of 8 months have object permanence as they can guild a mental representation of the object.
-children may of stopped looking if they became distracted or lost interest
-Bower and Wishart used a lab experiment where they showed an infant a toy and turned of the lights when the reached for it. The children still reached for the object although the lights were off


Outline an experiment for Conservation

- Set out a row of
counters in front of the
child -> asked them to
make another row the same length
- Counter of one row were spread out
- Children were asked if there where
the and number of counters.
- Children aged 7 could answer
-Piaget concluded that but the age of 7 children were able to conserve numbers.


Evaluate loafers theory of Conservation

-Rose and Blank 1974
argued that repeating
the question could hint
that the first answer was wrong. They found that 6 year olds gave the right answer when the question was asked once.

-Mcgarrigle and Donaldson 1974
Devised a study where the alteration
of the line was 'accidental' instead
of clear to prevent thoughts that
altering the line was important.
>two rows of sweets were laid out.
>a naughty teddy came and
accidentally messed on row during
play time.
>More than half the children gave the
right answer.


What was the aim of the mountain scene model?

To see whether children below 7 can see the mountain from another's view point


What was the procedure of the mountain study?

-Children 4-8yrs were
presented with 3 paper-
Mâché mountains of
various colours and different items.
- children walked around the model,
exploring it and then sat on one side
with a doll on the other.
-Children were shown 10 pictures of
different views of the model,
including theirs and the dolls.
-Children asked to select images that
the doll could see.


What were the findings of the mountain study?

4 year olds chose pictures matching their views.
6 year olds showed some understanding of other viewpoint but often selected the wrong images
7-8 year olds consistently chose the image of the dolls view.


Evaluate the mountain study

- mountains are
uncommon in children's
schemas -> was not
ethnocentrism but lack of
-Hughes 1975 got children to place a
doll in a 3D model of intersecting
walls where a police doll could not
see it but they could. They used
their schema of hide and seek. They
are not egocentric.
-Study is not an experiment as no independent variable used


Name a study that tests class inclusion.

18 brown and 2 white wooden beads.
-Children asked; if all the beads were wooden. Are there more brown or white bead and are there more brown than wooden beads.
- Under 7s answers the first two Qs correctly but said more brown than wooden.
-7+ go all three right.


Evaluate Piaget theory of cognitive development

+ Piaget not rigid in Beliefs (adapts theory one response to critical evidences
+ Stages of development are implied to occur as a universal, invariant sequence
- Piaget neglected the important role of emotional and social factors in intellectual development.
-Piaget saw language ability as reflecting n individuals level of cognitive development
- Often poor methodology -> lead him to underestimate what children of different ages could achieve.


Describe the sensorimotor stage

-0-24months approx
-Process of coordinating sensory perceptions and motor responses
-Divided into 6 sub-stages
-Key developments:
>Object permanence (8+months)
>Emergence of symbolic
Representation (18+ months)


Outline the 1st sub-stage of the sensorimotor stage?

Innate Reflex Schemas
> 0-1 months
> Child understands the world through innate reflexes only
> Sucking, Grasping, and focus is on controlling and coordinating these reflexes.


Outline the second sub-stage of the sensorimotor stage

Primary circular reactions
> 1-4 months
> Centred on child's body/sensations
> Infant deliberately repeats pleasurable sensations


Outline the 3rd sub-stage of the sensorimotor stage

Secondary circular reactions
> 4-8 months
> Centred on the world
> Infant repeats actions to produce interesting changes in the environment


Outline the 4th stage of the sensorimotor stage

Coordination of second circular reactions
> 8-12 months
> Combines secondary circular reactions (SCR) to achieve a goal
> object permanence develops -> involving recognition that world is independent of self, so objects exist even if not perceived/observed.


Outline the 5th sub-stage of the sensorimotor stage

Tertiary circular reactions
>12-18 months
> Centred on relationship between body and world.
> Experiments repeatedly with different combinations of actions
> Trial and error


Outline the 6th sub-stage of the sensorimotor stage

Early symbolic representation
>18-24 months
> Child begin to use a combination of symbols in problem solving
> Indicates a shift towards the use of mental operations to understanding the world rather than just actions.


Outline the concrete operational stage

7-11 years approx
> Children can now use logical operations (performed mentally), but only on concrete problems
> key developments:
-Overcomes Animism
- Egocentrism starts to decline
- Uses logical operations


What indicators of concrete operations being used by children can be found in conservation task

Compensation -> 'this ones taller but it's also thinner'

Reversibility -> 'if I pour the water back into this container it'll look the same as it did before'


Outline the pre-operational stage

- 2-7 yrs approx
- Involves rapid expansion of symbolic
representation (Language/drawing
and Pretend play)
- Between 2-4 yrs several
developments occur.
>Centration - cannot
classify things into a
logical manner
>Transductive reasoning -
relationship between two objects are
based on a single attribute (I.e # of
>Animistic thinking - Inanimate
objects are alive
>Seriation - Children find it hard to
put things in order.
-Between the ages of 4-7 years
children begin to:
>Think in relative terms
>Find it difficult to think logically
>Children are egocentric

Children at this stage do not have conservation


Outline the Formal operational

11+ years
- Apply logical operations
to hypothetical
situations/abstract ideas.
- Allows for mental arithmetic to take
- Children in this stage no longer need
physical representations to draw
conclusions, and can successfully
manipulate ideas in their mind.


What are the problems with methodology of Piagets theory of mind

Conservational confusion
-children many second
guess what the
researcher wants from them,
thereby misunderstanding the
Meaningfulness of tasks
-tasks used by Piaget
may not be appropriate or
meaningful to the child,


Conversational confusion in conservation tasks

The experimenter asks the same question which causes doubt