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UA / Psychology / PSY 352 / What is piagetian theory?

What is piagetian theory?

What is piagetian theory?


PY 352 Study Guide for Exam 2

What is piagetian theory?

I. 4 Theories of Cognitive Development  

II. Piagetian Theory  

a. Constructivist Theory- formed originally by Jean Piaget  b. “Little Scientists”

c. Clinical Interviews (own children)  

d. Mechanisms of Change  

i. Assimilation- you learn something new and  

incorporate it into what you already know

ii. Accommodation- what happens when it cant be  assimilated because your knowledge of the world is  

incomplete EX. Whale is not a fish but a mammal  

iii. Equilibration- the process you’re trying to get to.  State of Rest  We also discuss several other topics like e chug wsu

e. Stages of Cognitive Development  

What are stages of cognitive development ?

i. Sensorimotor (0-2 years)- intelligence is expressed  through senses and motor abilities  

1. Substages 1-6

2. Object permanence (8 mos): the knowledge  

that objects continue to exist even when they  

are out of view  

3. A not B error: the tendency to reach for a  

hidden object where it was last found rather  

than in the new location where it was last  


4. Deferred Imitation: the repetition of other  

people’s behavior a substantial tie after it  We also discuss several other topics like acg 3171

originally occurred  

ii. Preoperational (2-7 years): children become able to represent their experience in language, mental  

What is egocentrism?

imagery, and symbolic thought

1. Symbolic representation (pretend play)-  

symbol for something else

2. Egocentrism- thinking that everyone sees the  

world with the same prospective (same with  


3. Centration- focus on one aspect of a problem  

instead of multiple aspects

4. Conservation tasks- consider multiple  

aspects of a problem  

5. 3 mountains task

6. Theory of mind and tasks to measure it  

iii. Concrete Operational (age 7-12): children become  able to reason logically about concrete objects and  


1. Concrete reasoning  We also discuss several other topics like how the allocation of resources affects economic well­being?

2. Systematic thinking (lack of)  

3. Pendulum  

iv. Formal Operational (age 12 and beyond): people  

become able to think about abstractions and  

hypothetical situations  

1. Who reaches formal operation- not everyone  

reaches formal operations  

2. All possible answers to problem  

3. Logic and Reason (hypothetical or abstract)  

4. Truth, Justice, and morality  

v. Piaget’s Strengths and Weaknesses  

1. Strength: can apply to many domains  Don't forget about the age old question of statistics review sheet

2. Strength: spans infancy to adolescence  

3. Strength: well supported with research  

4. Weaknesses: implies consistency of thought  

within a stage  

5. Weakness: task performance underestimates  

child competency  

6. Weakness: understates importance of child’s  

sociocultural environment  

7. Weakness: mechanisms of change are vague  

III. Information Processing Theory: a class of theories that focus  on the structure of the cognitive system and the mental activities used to deploy attention and memory to solve problems  

a. Task analysis: the research technique of identifying goals, relevant information in the environment, and potential  processing strategies for a problem  

b. Problem solving: the process of attaining a goal by using  a strategy to overcome an obstacle  

c. Compares thinking to computing  

d. Child Active  We also discuss several other topics like What is median theory?

e. Continuous Development  

f. Focused on mechanisms of change  

g. Structural characteristics  

h. Processes  

i. Memory- structure and processes  

i. Structures: sensory, short, long episodic, somatic  ii. Processes: rehearsal, associations, pneumonics,  “grouping”  If you want to learn more check out native american elements

j. Other types of Information Processing Theories  

i. Neo-piagetian (Case)  

ii. Psychometric (Sternberg)

iii. Production System (Klahr)

iv. Connectionist (MacWhitney)

v. Evolutionary (Siegler)

IV. Core Knowledge Theory  

a. Innate  

b. Domain specific vs. Domain General  

c. Give Examples of  

i. Language acquisition  

ii. Face recognition  

iii. Continuity and solidity of objects  

iv. Recognizing living things  

v. Way finding  

V. Sociocultural Theory: approaches that emphasize that other  people and the surrounding culture contribute greatly to  children’s development  

a. Vygotsky

b. Social and cultural context affects kids’ cognitions  c. Active and not independent  

d. Innate capacities (similar to animals)  

e. Environment develops capacities (cognitive development) f. Language in relation to cognitive development  

i. Narration and scripts  

g. Cultural and social interactions  

h. Behaviors and demonstrate development

i. Private speech  

ii. Pretend play  

i. Terms used in education  

i. Zone of proximal developemt  

ii. Scaffolding  

iii. Intersubjectivity  

iv. Assisted discovery  

v. Peer collaboration  

vi. Reciprocal teaching  

vii. Cooperative learning  

j. Strengths and weaknesses  

1. Strength: explains cultural variation in  

cognitive skills  

2. Strength: highlights importance of teaching

3. Weakness: places too much emphasis on  

language for learning  

4. Weakness: no explanation of biological  

contribution to child’s development  

VI. Cognitive Theories Musts  

a. Liited thinking  

i. Amount of information processed  

ii. Speed  

iii. Flexible and adaptive  

VII. Infant Development  

a. Perception

i. Perception (the process of organizing and  interpreting sensory information) vs. sensation (the  processing of basic information from the external  world by the sensory receptors in the sense organs eyes, ears, skin, etc…- and brain

ii. Vision: visual processing requires 40% to 50% of our cerebral cortex function. Newborns start scanning  the environment moments after birth.  

1. Preferential looking technique:

Researchers have found that children prefer  looking at patterns rather than plain surfaces  2. Habituation study designs  

3. Visual Acuity is the sharpness of vision.  Develops rapidly in infants. By 8 months,  

infants’ vision is comparable to adults’

a. How it’s tested  

b. Contrast sensitivity- infants have poor  contrast sensitivity; they can see  

patterns only when composed of highly  

contrasting elements. This is because the

size, shape, and arrangement of the  

cones (neural cells that aid in color and  

detail perception) are still developing  

4. Scanning: infants are attracted to moving  stimuli, but their eye movements are not  

smooth. By 2-3 months, infants can track  

moving objects smoothly if the objects are  

moving slowly. Infants’ visual scanning ability  is limited to focusing on perimeters or corners. a. Box 5.1 in text  

iii. Pattern  

1. Pattern perception requires visual acuity,  visual scanning, and the ability to analyze and  integrate the separate elements of a visual  display. Infants as well as adults can perceive  subjective contours. Infants can perceive  

coherence among moving elements; in one  study, the ability to identify characteristic  

patterns of people walking  

2. Coherence among moving elements  

3. Subjective contours  

iv. Object perception  

1. Size constancy: although our retinal images  of people and objects change as they move  away from or toward us, our impression of the

person or object stays the same. Infants seem  to have perceptional constancy  

2. Object segregation: infants can perceive  boundaries between objects  

a. Common movement  

b. General knowledge

v. Depth perception: depth and distance cues help us know where we are with respect to objects and  landmarks.  

1. Visual cliff (video)  

2. Optical expansion: the visual image  

increases as an object comes toward us,  

causing the background to recede.

3. Binocular disparity: the two eyes do not  send the same signals to the brain because  there are different retinal images of the object  in each eye  

4. Stereopsis: the process by which the visual  cortex combines the different neural signals  from each eye to create depth perception  

a. Begins suddenly around 4 months and is  completed within a few weeks  

b. Achievement of this process signals the  

maturation of the brain’s visual cortex  

5. Monocular cues (pictorial cues): the  

perceptual cues of depth that can be perceived by one eye alone.  

a. Relative size: objects that are larger  

appear to be closer to us than smaller  


b. Object interposition: near objects  

partially occlude objects that are farther  


vi. Auditory

1. Infant auditory system is well developed at  birth, but hearing does not achieve adult level  until 5 to 8 years  

2. Auditory localization: infants can turn  toward the direction of the sound

3. Music perception: infants seem to be  

sensitive to certain musical sounds, rhythms,  and melody  

vii. Taste and smell: sensitivity to taste and smell  develops before birth  

1. Newborns innately prefer sweet flavors. Infant  sense of smell draws them to their mothers.

2. Infants are sensitive to the smell of breast milk  viii. Touch: infants explore the world orally for the first  few months. From 4 months on, infants begin to rub,  finger, probe, and bang objects. Increase in manual  control facilitates visual exploration  

ix. Intermodal perception: Infants are able to  combine information from two or more senses. Very  young infants link oral and visual experiences. As  they get older, infants integrate visual and tactile  explorations. Infants at about 4 months can integrate speaking sounds with a picture of lips moving.  

b. Motor development  

i. Reflexes: tightly organized inborn behaviors that  occur in response to particular stimulation  

1. Grasping: newborns close their fingers around anything that presses against the palm of their  hand  

2. Sucking: develops in utero to prepare baby for eating  

3. Rooting: turning their head in the direction of  the touch and opening their mouth. Searching  

for nipple  

4. Tonic neck reflex: when an infant’s head  

turns or is turned to one side, the arm on that  

side of the body extends, while the arm and  

knee of the other side flex.  

5. Why do reflexes exist?

ii. Motor milestones: prone  chest up rolls over  some weight with legs  sits without support  stands with support  pulls self to stand  walks using  furniture for support  stands alone easily  walks  alone easily  

iii. Motor development and cultural variations  1. Exercise  

2. Nutrition  

3. Cultural Practices  

4. Accelerating motor development  

a. Mothers in Mali tribe exercise their  


b. How?

5. Retard motor development  

a. Ache tribe carry their infants for three  


b. How?

iv. Current views on motor development

1. Dynamic- Systems approach, seeing motor  

development as resulting from a confluence of  

neural mechanisms, perceptual skills, changes  

in body proportions, and the child’s own  


2. Scale error: the attempt by a young child to  

perform an action on a miniature object that is  

impossible due to the large discrepancy in the  

relative sizes of the child and the object  

v. Infant’s expanding world  

1. Pre-reaching motions: for the first few  

months of life, infants engage in prereaching  

movements such as swiping and swatting at  

objects. Around 7 months, infants’ ability to  

reach becomes quite stable.  

2. Self-locomotion: at 8 months or so, infants  

begin to move themselves around in the  

environment. By 13-14 months they are  


c. Infant Learning  

i. Habituation: A decrease in response to repeated  

stimulation, revealing that learning has occurred  

ii. Dishabituation: increase in response to the  

presentation of a novel stimulation after habituation  

has occurred  

1. Habituation is the simplest form of learning ad  

the one first seen in infants  

iii. Classical conditioning  

1. US (unconditioned stimulus)  UR  

(unconditioned response) & CS (conditioned  

stimulus)  CR (conditioned response)  

2. Little Albert was conditioned to be afraid of  

white rates  

 Loud noise (UCS) = fear (UCR)   Loud noise (UCS) +white rat (CS) = fear   White rat (CS) = fear (CR)  

iv. Instrumental (Operant) Conditioning: learning is  based on the relationship between one’s own  

behavior and reward or punishment

1. Reward v. Punishment  

2. Positive reinforcement: most instrumental  

conditioning with infants- a reward that follows  

a behavior and increases the likelihood that the

behavior will be repeated  

v. Observational Learning: the infant learns by  

observing others

1. Imitating intention: by 6 months, infant  

imitation is indisputable. By 18 months, infants  

are quite accomplished imitators  

a. Humans vs. non-living things  

vi. Do infants think?  

1. Core-knowledge theory: infants have innate  

knowledge in a few important domains, such as

the physical world and objects  

2. I-P theory:  

a. Infants possess specialized learning  

mechanisms that enable them to acquire  

knowledge rapidly  

b. Infants possess generalized learning  

mechanisms that strengthen their mental

representations of the physical world  

3. Piagetian Theory  

vii. Thinking about things  

1. Violation of expectancy: young infants  

express surprise at events or objects that  

violate their expectancy  

a. Possible v. Impossible events  

2. Object permanence: infants younger than 8  

months do not search for objects they cannot  

see. But infants as young as 6 months may  

think about some aspects of invisible objects.  

3. Renee Baillargeon: focused on determining  

whether infants have different responses to  

possible and impossible events  

4. Social Knowledge (Meltzhoff’s dumbbell  


VIII. Language Development  

a. Basic terms/Learning a language  

i. Phonemes: the elementary units of meaningful  

sound used to produce languages  

1. Phonological development: the acquisition  

of knowledge about the sound system of a  


ii. Morphemes: the smallest units of meaning in a  

language, composed of one or more phonemes  

1. Semantic development: the learning of the  

system for expressing meaning in a language,  

including word learning  

iii. Syntax: rules in a language that specify how words  from different categories (nouns, verbs, adjectives,  

and so on) can be combined

1. Syntactic development: the learning of the  syntax of a language  

iv. Prosody: the characteristic rhythm, tempo, cadence, melody, intonational patterns, and so forth with  which a language  

v. Pragmatic development: the acquisition of  knowledge about how language is used  

vi. Metalinguistic knowledge: an understanding of  the properties and function of language-that is, an  understanding of language as language  

b. Infant Language Development  

i. Babbling: repetitive consonant-vowel sequences or  hand movements(for learners of signed languages)  produced during the early phases of language  


ii. First words & reference mapping: in language and  speech, the associating of words and meaning  

iii. Vocabulary spurt  

iv. Holophrastic phase: the period when children  begin using the words in their small productive  vocabulary one word at a time  

v. Telegraphic speech: the term describing children’s  first sentences that are generally two-word  


c. Theories of how language develops  

i. Innate  

1. Chomsky  

a. Universal grammar  

b. Language acquisition device (LAD)  

ii. Biological  

1. Left hemisphere localization  

2. Aphasias (Broca’s & Wernicke’s)  

3. Williams syndrome  

iii. Critical periods  

1. Johnson and Newport  

2. Elissa Newport  

3. Victor and Genie (video)  

iv. Learned  

1. Skinner  

2. Operant conditioning  

v. Social interaction: imperative for the learning of  language because it adds all of these aspects to the  ability to learn  

1. Joint attention: when one acknowledges  

something, the other will also acknowledge it  

and smile

2. Motheres (IDT): babies learn better when  

people talk in higher pitches  

3. Intention (pragmatic cues): infants only learn  things (words/actions) if you have  

demonstrated it INTENDING to do it.  

4. Communication (action dialogues): use cues  to communicate (eyes, hands, facial  

expressions, vocal melody, body language)  

d. Interesting topics in language development  i. Homesigns: sign languages that children develop on their own- gestural communication system for deaf  children of hearing parents; these are syntactically  (grammatical) structure. (this supports the innate  Chomsky theory)

a. Pidgin- meet all the language  

requirements except for generations  

b. Creole- passed through first generation  

c. Language- passed through multiple  


ii. Emerging languages  

1. Nicaraguan Sign Language- emerged from  homesigns- 2 decades- growing more complex  2. Hawaiian Creole  

iii. Bilingualism: 6 million school-aged children in  America- Bilingual parents vs. monolingual parents:  impacts development of language in a beneficial way iv. Requirements for a language: symbols  

(sounds/letters/signs), grammar structure,  

community, generations  

v. Types of languages  

vi. Different types of sign languages

Psych Of Learning Exam Review 02/15/2016

-The main difference between learning and natural selection is natural  selection occurs on a species level (slower) where learning occurs on an  individual level. Learning is change in behavior where natural  selection affects across the species (mass death). Learning occurs  over shorter period of time. Learning helps individual where natural  selection does not  

          -Natural selection depends on variation to change a species by  mutation. 

-Which scenario(s) equate to learning?  

∙ A child is given a drug to prevent him from washing his hands 500  times a day  

 ∙     A dog sits to receive a bone  

∙ A child can now reach the microwave to cook a burrito  

 ∙     When your bird bites people he is put in time out so that he stops  biting  

          - A reflex is a highly stereotypic relationship between a specific event  and a response to that event

          -A motal action pattern (instinct) is a series of interrelated acts found in all or nearly all members of a species  

          -Which measure of learning is this? (7 measures of learning)  ∙    How fast a rat completes a maze speed  

∙    The time between a bell is rung and a dog drools Latency  

∙    How many answers a pigeon gets correct compared to the ones he  misses reduction in errors  

          -What design is this  

∙    comparing 2 different breeds of dogs between subjects  

∙    comparing poodles’ intelligence before and after drug us within  subjects  

          -The most important trials are first trials rescola wagner theory            - Conditioning is most effective when both the CS and US affect the  same receptors ?  

          - A stuffed spongebob is paired with a steak. Pretty soon a dog begins  to drool at jjust the sight of spongebob  

∙    CS: Spongebob

∙    UCS: steak

∙     CR: drool  

∙    UCR: drool  

          - Pairing CS and US  

∙ a puff of smoke is blown into a dogs eye and 1 second later a bell  rings

∙ a bell rings and a puff of smoke is blown into a dogs eye trace  - the amount of times that the UCS occurs with the CS: number of  pairing  

-how close in time the ucs and cs occur: contiguity  

- A dog is presented with a flash of light and a tone simultaneously  followed by food. When the tone and light are tested separately the tone is  an effective CS, but the light is not. Overshadowing  

-A bell and light are frequently presented together (your test dog sees  this). The dog is then conditioned to drool to the bell. One would expect that  if the light were then to be conditioned quickly that pre-sensory  conditioning occurred  

- Higher order conditioning: (second order) previously  conditioned stimulus is paired with a new stimulus and the new stimulus  -Rats that were raised in more diverse environments developed  larger brains and were able to learn faster  

-(pictures of graphs) inter trial intervals  

-you conditioned your dog to drool to a bell. Next you wish to create a  compound conditioned stimulus by pairing a light with the bell. Your dog  does not condition to the light. blocking

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