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Jean Piagetís Theory of Cognitive Development
Piagetís 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 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.
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.
The beginnings of adult logic.
Logical thought about concrete objects.
Conservation has developed.
Reversibility is shown.
Thought is less egocentric.
Moral judgments become subjective.
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 . . .(?)
Was Piagetís 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?
Views children (& adults) as akin to computer systems.
Deals with childrenís 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:
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."
Kohlbergís 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 Age Psychosocial Crisis Developmental Achievement birth - 1 Trust vs. Mistrust Form a trusting relationship with world 1-3 Autonomy vs. Doubt & Shame Develop confidence and independence 3-6 Initiative vs. Guilt Enjoy exploration and discovery 6-11 Industry vs. Inferiority Learning how things work 11-18 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.
(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
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)
Harlowís theory of Attachment as Nature (innate) -
Surrogate Mother Studies - See p. 337.Imprinting - Page 338.
Baby Monkeys (& probably humans) have an innate need for "contact comfort."
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.
Texas Child Abuse Hotline:
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).
On Death & Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D.
Stages in the dying process: