Cognition and Development

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  • Created on: 26-05-15 14:45

Piagets Theory of Cognition and Development

Key Words
Schema: Menatl representations of the world used to understand and respond to situations
Assimilation: Used to add to existing schemas 
Equillibration:  Maintaining the cognitive balance, Disequilibrium, accomodation and new schemas
Accomodation: Expanding and making new schemas
Operation: Logical mental rules- more sig as child dev

Paiget= stages, observations, Switzerland
Sensorimotor (0-2): born with refelexes, dev through senses and movements
Object permanence task: if hidden it doesnt existt
Pre-operational stage (2-6): language shows general concepts and Egocentricity (understanding is limited to own perpective)- preconceptual thinking (2-4), Intuitive thinking (4-6)
Three Mountains task: perspectives and egocentricity
Conservation Task- beakers of liquid
Concrete operational stage (7-11):
 Use of logical mental rules to understand concrete info, and see others perspectives. 
Formal stage (12 plus): abstract thoughts, hypothetical problems, more logical systematic approaches (beakers of colourless liquid)

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Evaluation of Piaget

Sample: Small sample from limited cultural backgrounds (Switzerland/ middle class), ethnocentrically biased.
Lack of objectivity: own children
Not universal: ignores cultural element of dev.
Stages: Who reaches formal operations?
Dansen: 1 in 3 (western) reach, other research= 1 out of 62 15 year olds reached it.
Egocentricity: three mountains task is too difficult and not meaningful
Nature Vs Nurture: ability to learn, maturaration of body and brain= N
ability to respond to demands of environment= Nur
Highly first comprehensive theory of cog and dev, influenced educational practice throughout the world.

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Vygotsky's Theory of Cognition and Development

Russian Psychologist, published after death, see's children as an apprentice 

Society and cultural context: finnger pointing= grasping gesture is a movement with meaning and mother scaffolds learning to ensure they learn the cultural meaning.

Cultural tools: tools of intellectual adaptations providing the child with thought processes- teach them how to think and the root of cog and dev is based around language.

Language: expanded by peers and family, enhances social interaction
External speech: (0-3) adult directed 
Egocentric speech: (3-7) articulates thoughts out loud 
Internal speech: (7+) silent speech to organise thoughts 

ZPD: gap from childs actual dev and potential dev enhanced  from MKO

Scaffolding: support to ensure next steps of dev, MKO encourages and motivates, gradual withdrawl to ensure independence, ZPD dev.

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Evaluation of Vygotsky

Scaffolding:  Wood and Middleton: 4-5 year olds and mother interaction, diff levels of support. Concluded best suppport is given if needed (independence) promotes autonomy and careful guided assistance when needed tailored to each child. Research; same in other cultures.
P-Discovery of V-ZPD and scaffolding?  Freund: scaffolding from mother performed better than just discovery learners (against P)

ZPD Study: puzzles of varied ability, low scores= no help, no attention= too easy, mum  taking control= too hard, ZPD= guided and aided attention.
Best performance when within ZPD  with aid if needed.

Comparison to P: Need an itegration of both
V= guidance from MKO, born with basic materials for dev (elemenntary mental functions- memory)
P= more iinfluencial, focus on discovery
V= over emphasis on social factors and ignore bio or individual factors, suites collectivist cultures with focus on SLT
V= sees child as an aprentice P= child as a scientist

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Application to Education V+P

1) Readiness: work is ability appropriate. (algebra in maths)
2) Role of teacher: creates disequillibrium
3) Discovery learning: child finds things out for themselves, child is scientist and teacher- resources.
4) Curriculum: Progression of learning, stage dependent, too challenging for some, vice versa.

instruc teach and shape learning, peer  tutoring and collaborative work. construction of joint views.
1) Scaffolding: manageable parts, MKO proovides suitable assistance, demoonstrations-immitation.
Good scaffolding has a lasting effect. 
2) Role of Teacher: language, scaffolds learning, MKO- tutoring. Differs to P, more active role.
Collaborative learning: groups encourage lang dev, knowledge is collectively and socially sonstructed. (Gokhale: tested students on critical thinking, groupsoutperformed indiv learners. Higher range of solutions and wider range of knowlege)

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Kohlbergs theory of moral development

Heinz dilemmas, understand their justification.

Preconventional morality- right or wrong determined by rewards/punishments
1) obedience to AF, punishments and consequences
2) focus on society- expectations, rewards

Conventional morality- avoid blame and seek approval. influenced by others opinions.
3) assign good/bad characters, conform to behaviours, good intentionns
4) obey to AF, understand laws

Post conventional morality- abstract justice, rights of other overide obedience of laws.
5) moral and legal rights sometimes get broken
6) understand everyone affected by moral decision.

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Kohlberg evaluation

Sharney: meta analysis supports k stages and timings. 5 is restricted to urban western cultures (reflection of western individuallism)
Colby: Longitudinal 20yrs- stages are not set. USA males= stages 1-4 only 10% at stage 5 at 30's and no evidence for stage 6.
Gender Bias- Gillingham, girls stage 3 boys stage 4/5- could be 2 reasons, inferior or method
Andocentric sample, women destined to score lower (traditional duty to care), reductionist- focus on males, over simplified view of morality.
Methodology- Dilemmas= hypothetical scenarios, not relateable and lack realism unlike Gillingham.
Findings are criticised- evidence suggests you cannot distinguish between satges 5+6 and most only reach 4.
reductionist: restricted view of morality- ignores pracitcal factors, argued that he favoured morality than justice and restricted his perspective and ignores emotional factors. 
Cultural differences: cross cultural analysis Japan and USA= favoured stealing drug Japan=shouldnt- preserve a clean and pure life. 


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Self Recognition

Subjective- ability to percieve themselves as different from others 
Objective- reflect upon themselves.

Subjective self awareness- present at birth, personal agency dev at 2 months (can direct own movement) recognise own face.
Objective self awwareness- key milestone. looking at reflections.
Amsterdam: Rouge study shows:6-12mnths = someone else. 13-24mnths confusion. 24mnths = clear self recognition/ personal pronouns used 'mine'. 

Research- At birth we have a rudimentary sense of self- distinguis ourselves from others.
Contradicting research- individuation occurs in first few months (before= attached to mum)
Development of concious self awarenness- needed for relationships (jealousy and empathy)

Individual differences: faster in securely attached individuals showing independence.
Cultural differences: western cultures promote independence, non western= interdependence.

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Development of self/ ToM

Younger= only dinstiguish themselves differently- physically
Older= more psychological characteristics. 
Rosenburg: random sample in USA, interviewed 18 yr olds (small sample) on self.
broad categories- physical, character, relationship, inner.
Younger=  physical and charracter
Older=  character, refernce to relationship and inner.

Theory of Mind: own understanding that other have diff menta states and their view of the world differs from others.
Wimmer and Perner: false belief task. 3,6 and 8 year olds- chocolate cupboards, where would he look. 3=wrong no ToM, think he will act on false belief
6+8= ToM
Sally Anne experimen- Baron Cohen et al: 20 autistic, 14 downs, 27 normal. asked for an answer which needed children to attribute a false belief to Sally.
Autistic= less likely to succeed, no ToM, failed due to social cog probs not inteligence.
X- some did succeed so its not conclusive. 
X- use of dolls could have caused confusion.
  -accross culture, similar ages. large fam= more interaction and conflict.
X- Task is too language dependent.

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Self Esteem

Global Self Esteem= general feelings and evaluations of ourselves
State Self Esteem=  f and e at a given point
Self Evaluations= evaluation of specific part of self (appearance)

Harter No global self esteem until mid chilhood-8, 
Attachment theory, internal working model= cognitive framework comprising mental representations for future (protype for future)

Hazen and Shaver childhood and parent attachment= correlated to self esteem in adulthood.

Self esteem: no impact on work performance or aggression.
high= happpiness low= depression
Link to narcissism- craving attention and egotistic

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Development of child's understanding of others

Immitation: Meltzoff- Newborns immitate facial gestures
Intentions: toddlers understand communitive intent- autistic children do not. Role taking is part of social dev and leads to understanding of others to produce PSB.
Deception: from age 3, hide disappointment for presents
Individual differences: seperate bio modules for diff abilities and mature at diff rates. different to TooM so autistic children clearly understanf intentions. 
Fundamental skills: needed for soc dev, popular children have better role taking skills, social success as they can understand mental states. Deception highlighted to be key role in evolution.

SELMAN- 5 stages
1) 3-6- others have diff thoughts, no integration or differentiation
2) 6-8- diff persectives as result of diff info exposure, no integration.
3) 8-10- understand others thoughts, behaviours and persepctives 
4) 10-12- view from an impartial 3rd party and use integration.
5) adult- considers others perspectives with reference to
social environment and culture.

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Selman evaluation


Selman et al= improve perspective taking skills shows children to be more mature in relationships
Walker and Selman=perspective taking resolves conflicts, reduces bullying (understand others)
cultural bias: based on western cultures, doesnt account for minority ethnic communities.Rascism and prejudice needs to be accounted for.
Dilemmas: objective, sometimes not relateable
Gender differencesgirls have been shown to have more empathy

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Mirror neurons

During certain motions certain brain cells are active. Same brain reaction when someone else does the motion. (Recorded using EEG- used to work out role of neurons). Allows you to immitate motions and emotions.
Rizzolatti et al studied monkeys reaching for the peanut and neurons fire, observe movement= neurons fire showing use of mirror neurons. 
only fired when a interaction betweeen movement and object (needs to have meaning)
Respond to sound of nut cracking- meaning.
Humans: MN fire during facial expressions and activates appropriate feelings
basic social cognition, MN creates foundation to empathise and understand others.
MU Waves: electrical patterns in the brain - supressed when observing other perform a motor action. MN system is invovled in MU wave supression represents high level of co-ordination of mirror neurons.Autism= mu waves supressed during own body movement, not when observing others.
Evolutionary: adaptive and aids survival.
Brain scan evvidence: brain systems are activated during observed emotions and directly replicate these sensations as the others
Autism less cotisol matter in the brain associated with MN- account for poorer social cognition
Gender differences: Cheung, females- stronger MN advanced soc cog?, males more autism.. 


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