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An Introduction into Cognitive Development
Cognitive development involves the way that humans grow and develop. We think
to find out what is happening around us. We use our senses to develop our
understanding of our environment. Babies and children develop using different
methods to older children and adults who have already partially developed. We all
learn through doing and finding out for ourselves.
Jean Piaget was the first psychologist to discover and truly understand how
children developed.…read more

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Piaget's theory explores how children developed over time. Our intelligence
improves and gets better as we use and are involved in the environment around
us. We learn through the actions that we do and the outcome of them. Our
understanding increases and therefore our ability increases. It is as if we need to
adapt to our environment and when we have accomplished that, we get better
and more intelligent.
Piaget started early investigations into children and discovered how some of
them gave incorrect answers.…read more

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The majority of their time is spent looking around and examining their new
surroundings. The child uses its senses and body movements to learn and
understand. They have mastered the first actions such as sucking and touching
which are reflex actions. This places SCHEMAS on their mind, through their actions
and they are able to connect one thing with another. It recognises that it
physically exists.…read more

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This can include using their schemas to remember and relate earlier
learning.
In-depth thinking is beginning to happen although there are many things that the
child cannot do or get right. Children are treating their toys for example, as if they
were alive and had feelings. This is called ANIMISM, where they think they are the
same as them. They do not understand that the toy does not talk or move and is
not alive.…read more

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Piaget created this experiment to test EGOCENTRISM. It tests whether the child
is able to see from someone else's point of view. There are three papier mache
mountains that were placed on a table. Each mountain had a different object on
it which was a hut and cross and snow. The child was able to walk around and look
from all the different angles of the mountains. They sat down and a doll was
placed opposite to them on the other side of the mountains.…read more

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They also start to learn the concept of CONSERVATION. This is the ability to
understand when the same thing is in a different form. If an object looks like it has
changed, they understand that it is actually the same thing. Younger children will
think that as it is in a different form, it is a separate thing. Piaget came up with
experiments and games to test the children in their ability to conserve. These are
known as the CONSERVATION OF MASS, VOLUME and NUMBER.…read more

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They understood the
conservation change.
Conclusion: Piaget concluded that children in the pre-operational stage were
unable to conserve as they could not work backwards in the question. As the
children got older and more developed, they were able to realise the change in
the conservation of number.
Other psychologists, SAMUEL and BRYANT, wanted to find out whether the
methodology in Piaget's experiment was the reason why under seven's made
errors rather than the true lack of information about conservation.…read more

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The study was ethical as they were able to give informed consent,
although the children may have not been fully aware of what was happening.
This research can be used in daily life as we are able to apply it into education. It
helps us understand the processes and steps that a child goes through while
developing. This has high applicability because it is useful and is used in everyday
life.…read more

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