information processing approaches - cognitive development

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  • Created by: Cara
  • Created on: 18-06-12 11:56

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Information Processing Approaches
Key points of Piaget's constructivist theory
Piaget believed that a child...
Gradually understands it's world using schemas that develop via maturation (nature) and
experience (nurture)
Passes through stages that are qualitatively different ­ what the child can and cannot do
Gradually stops making cognitive `error's such as egocentric thinking and centration as they
get older ­ fewer mistakes
Is an active constructor of its own knowledge ­ concepts of discovery learning and readiness
to learn ­ right stage of maturity
Information processing theories
The Information Processing (IP) takes a different approach to Piaget and is considered a
neo-Piagetian approach.
It is not a single idea, but a collection of theories and models that involve common assumptions.
Piaget's ideas are challenged in a number of different ways by the various IP.
Assumptions of an IP approach
The use of task analysis to identify the separate parts of thinking that are needed to
complete a task, e.g. perception, memory, etc
Consideration of the information processing over time and the sequence of operations that
occur over time
The use of the computer analogy to describe human information processing
Children are active problem solvers
Information processing and cognitive development
Cognitive development is seen as a process by which children become capable of processing
information in more complex ways
For example
Development of working memory, attention (develops)
More skilled/efficient use of processes (making sense of the world around you)

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Acquisition of better strategies (making sense of the world around you)
According to IP theories cognitive development occurs through...…read more

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Children develop the ability to conserve liquid quantity, mass, number, etc about the
age of 7 because concrete operations allow them to grasp their underlying logic
IP Approach:
Emphasises limitations in the child's ability to process information
o 5 year olds get conservation of liquid quantity wrong because they cannot
simultaneously process information about height and width
Sees development as reflecting quantitative changes in thinking
o Children become able to conserve liquid quantity when their processing capacity has
increased sufficiently to allow height and width…read more


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