Chapter Ten

Child Development
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Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
    Piaget’s theory is maturational, i.e. it stresses "growing up."

    It stresses Nature, not Nurture.

    This is a stage theory.
    See Table 10.1; p. 324.

    Sensorimotor Stage (1st two years)
    Preoperational Stage (2-7 years)
    Concrete Operational Stage (7-12 years)
    Formal Operations (12 & up)
The Sensorimotor Stage
(birth to 2 years)
    The Neonate is just a bag of reflexes. No concepts or mental representation present at birth.

    Intentional behavior develops.

    Early concepts are formed. ("Schemes")

      Assimilation & Accommodation
      See p. 324.

      Object permanence develops. Page 326.

        Language develops.
The Preoperational Stage
(2-7 years)
    Thought is egocentric.

    Thinking shows animism & artificialism. (See p. 326.)

    Thinking lacks conservation.
    (See Fig. 10.5; p. 327.)

    Moral judgments are objective, i.e. Objective responsibility is shown.

Concrete Operational Stage
(7-12 years)
    The beginnings of adult logic.

    Logical thought about concrete objects.

    Conservation has developed.
    Reversibility is shown.

    Thought is less egocentric.

    Moral judgments become subjective.

Formal Operational Stage
(12 years & up)
See Page 352; Ch. 11.
    Abstract logical ability emerges.

    Hypothetical thinking is possible about abstract concepts.

    Deduction from principles is shown.

    Syllogistic thought is possible.

    "All men are mortal."

    "Socrates was a man."

    "Therefore . . .(?)

Evaluation of Piaget’s Theory
See page 353; Chapter 11.
    Was Piaget’s timing accurate?

    Is cognitive development really discontinuous? Do people really go through neat stages?

    Did Piaget under-estimate the role of Nurture?

    Are the developmental sequences invariant?

Information-Processing Approaches to Cognitive Development

    Views children (& adults) as akin to computer systems.

    Deals with children’s advances in the input, storage, retrieval, manipulation & output of information. (See Page 353.)

    "androids made out of meat"

    studies constructs like: selective attention, automaticity & metamemory.

    Language Development Timetable:

    Birth --------------Crying
    2 months ---------Cooing

    6 months ---------Babbling

    18 months -------Holophrases (single word utterances that convey complex meanings).
    (2 dozen words). Comprehension precedes production.

    24 months -------2 word phrases (duos).

    Early speech is telegraphic.

    Very young children frequently display overextension & overregularization. (P. 345)

    Between ages 2 & 3 years: Complex sentences are used, adding articles, conjunctions, adjectives, pronouns & prepositions. "WH" questions appear.

    By age 3: asking questions, taking turns, & lengthy conversations.

    By age 6: vocabulary as big as 10,000.

    By age 7 or 9: "word play" emerges.

Theories of Language Development:  Page 344
Learning View - (ala Skinner, et al) - emphasizes Nurture: i.e. imitation, models, shaping, reinforcement, observation, shaping, etc. What are the problems?

Nativist View - emphasizes Nature: the psycholinguistic theory says that nature/nurture interact via a Language Acquisition Device (pre-wiring). Leads to notion of a "sensitive period" - p. 344.

The Cognitive View-Focuses on relationship between cognitive development and language development. Assumes that language development is made possible by cognitive analytical abilities.

"Children are actively striving to communicate their thoughts."

    Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development

    Kohlberg (d. 1987) took a cognitive approach.

    Three levels of Moral Development:  See p. 333.

    Preconventional Level (birth to 9 years). Rewards & punishments.

    Conventional Level (9-13 approx..). "Law & Order mentality." The rules are inviolable.

    Postconventional Level "a period during which moral judgments are derived from moral principles & people look to themselves to set moral standards."  See page 353; Chapter 11.

    Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Stages of Development
    Psychosocial Crisis
    Developmental Achievement
    birth - 1
    Trust vs. Mistrust
    Form a trusting relationship with world
    Autonomy vs. Doubt & Shame
    Develop confidence and independence
    Initiative vs. Guilt
    Enjoy exploration and discovery
    Industry vs. Inferiority
    Learning how things work
    Ego Identity vs. Role Confusion
    Form a broad sense of who one is
    Young adulthood
    Intimacy vs. Isolation
    Form meangingful relationships
    Middle adulthood
    Generativity vs. Stagnation
    Develop an active concern for the world
    Late adulthood
    Ego Integrity vs. Despair
    Achieve self-fulfillment 
    See page 335.

      Attachment Theory
      (See page 335.)

      Ainsworth distinguishes between secure and insecure attachment.

      Two types of insecure attachment:  Avoidant and Ambivalent/resistant.

      Securely attached children show:

      • more cooperation
      • longer attention spans
      • higher levels of competence.

    Stages of Attachment
    Page 336
      Initial pre-attachment phase (birth to 3 months); indiscriminate attachment.

      Attachment-in-the-making phase (3-4 months).

      Clear-cut-attachment phase (6-7 months); accompanied by fear of strangers (for some babies).

    Theoretical Views of Attachment
      Behavioral View - "Attachment is learned through conditioning." (Nurture argument)

      Harlow’s theory of Attachment as Nature (innate) -
      Surrogate Mother Studies - See p. 337.

        Baby Monkeys (& probably humans) have an innate need for "contact comfort."
      Imprinting - Page 338.

    Parenting Styles:
    See p. 338
    Rearing the Competent Child
      Authoritative Parents are strict & warm. Demand mature behavior but use reason, not force of discipline. Produce the most competent children.

      Authoritarian Parents are rigid in their rules & demand obedience, perhaps with threats of force.

      Permissive Parents impose few, if any, rules and do not supervise children closely. Results in the least mature children.

Child Abuse
What are the causes and effects of childhood abuse?

Texas Child Abuse Hotline:

                                                       See p. 340.

Controversies in Developmental Psychology
    Does development reflect Nature or Nurture?

    Is development continuous or discontinuous?

    The behaviorists say development is continuous, i.e. ongoing conditioning.

    Maturational theorists argue that development is discontinuous, i.e. progresses in stages (discrete periods of life in which the person is qualitatively different).

Dying: The Final Stage of Growth?
Page 381

On Death & Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D.