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Cognitive Development in Early Childhood

by: Cassie Ng

Cognitive Development in Early Childhood CPSY 2301

Marketplace > University of Minnesota > Psychlogy > CPSY 2301 > Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
Cassie Ng
U of M

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1. What are the major characteristics of preoperational thought, according to Piaget? What are the limitations? You should be able to recognize/describe the tasks Piaget used to test the limitati...
Introductory Child Psychology
Henriette Warren
Study Guide
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Cassie Ng on Sunday November 8, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to CPSY 2301 at University of Minnesota taught by Henriette Warren in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 43 views. For similar materials see Introductory Child Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Minnesota.

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Date Created: 11/08/15
Cognitive Development in Early Childhood October 22, 2015 1. What are the major characteristics of preoperational thought, according to Piaget? What are the limitations? You should be able to recognize/describe the tasks Piaget used to test the limitations of preoperational thought. Perceptual Thought: Child is not yet capable of mental representations of actions that obey logical rules Child is center: difficulty focusing on 2 aspects simultaneously Piaget: - Conservation tasks: a taller, thinner bottle vs. thicker, shorter bottle (But they are actually the same) - Class inclusion tasks: Are there more apples or more fruit? (young kids will say more apples) - The Three Mountains Task . Young children were shown a large diorama containing models of 3 mountains that were distinctively different in size, shop & landmarks - Limitations: Difficulty distinguishing appearance vs. reality - Flavell: . Focus on appearance (‘perception bound’) (A white egg put behind a blue paper, child will say it is a blue egg) . Or some of them will focus on the reality . Difficulty focusing on both simultaneously 2. What are some of the problems with the tasks Piaget used to determine the limitations of preoperational thought? How have new & modified tasks revealed preoperational children to be more sophisticated thinkers than Piaget believed? You should be able to recognize/describe the new tasks used to challenge Piaget’s conclusions. Underestimated children’s ability: - Tasks are too complicated - Tasks are too tricky - Tasks need simpler tasks New Tasks: Conservation of Number - Preparation children are successful: . When only 3-4 items are used instead of 6-7 . If use group label instead of unite level . E.g: fail—“Do I have more tress? You have more tress? Or I have more tress?” Success—“Who has more tress?” Appearance vs. Reality: - Succeed when ‘real’ & ‘apparent’ states are both present - Succeed when scenarios pertain to their own experience 3. According to the study by DeLoache and colleagues, why does convincing young children that you have actually shrunk a room (compared to showing them a small model of it), make it easier for them to understand the association between the large room and the small version? Describe the research studies that inform us on this topic. Symbolic Reasoning: Scale- Model Task (DeLoache Study): - 3 year old do well (reason symbolically) - 2.5 year old do poorly - Children have little or no experience with model as specific representations - If make children believe that model = room—2.5 year old succeed! - How do we make children believe that model “room”! . Credible shrinking room 4. What is the false belief task, and what does it indicate about children’s development? What does autistic children’s performance on the false belief task suggest? False-belief task: A technique used to access children’s theory of mind; children are tested on their understanding either of stories in which a charter is fooled into believing something that is not true or of situations in which they themselves have been tricked into a false beliefs - Children younger than 4 years of age typically fail false beliefs tasks Autistic Children performance: - In a false-belief task, they perform like 3 year olds, fail to realize - Autism children may be very clever at solving mechanical puzzles such as putting together blocks to make a racing cars, or they may have unusual abilities in music, art, math, memory or some other specific area. The extreme difference in performance suggests that autism may affect a specific model—a theory of mind model, perhaps—leaving other modules unaffected 5. How is current thinking on childhood cognitive development different from Piaget’s conceptualization of cognitive development? Piaget’s cognitive development: - Children’s thought process are adaptive; modified by encounter with the world - Actively seek out information & combine it with previous knowledge - Construct knowledge from their experience Current view of cognitive development: - More biologically - Input from environment goes to the sensory register & may be read into short-term (working) memory, where it may combine with information from long-term memory. The flow of information among these compacts is coordinated by control processes, which include attention, rehearsal & decision making - As children grow older, their cognitive performance improve as a result of both the maturation of their brains & their development of more effective information- process strategies 6. Describe evidence supporting an information-processing explanation of preschoolers’ cognitive development. - When a mother tries to teach her 4 year old daughter to remember the family phone number. The mother sites with the child at the phone & shows her the sequence of buttons to push- say 543-1234. The child wathes what her mother does & hears what her mother is saying - The young child may experience difficulty at any phase of this process. She may pay insufficient attention to what her mother is saying, in which case the information will not enter her sensory register. Being young, she has a small working-memory capacity & may not be able to hold all the numbers in working memory as she tries to remember them. The speed with which she can transfer information from the sensory register to working memory & to long term memory may be relatively slow, causing her to forget some of the numbers before they can be enduring stored in long-term memory - Lastly, she may have little experience with intentional memorization & have no repertoire of strategies fro holding information in working memory for an extended period or for manipulating numbers in working memory 7. What evidence suggests that young children are more competent at providing eyewitness testimony than was originally thought? (Unsure) Picture Task (DeLoache Study): - Picture: Specific representation (Children have experience with the pictures) - Models: Little or no experience as specific representations 8. Give examples of privileged domains and briefly describe what they might indicate about children’s thinking. How do children acquire privileged domain knowledge? Privileged Domains: Cognitive domains that call on specialized kinds of information, require specifically designed forms of reasoning, & appear to be of evolutionary importance to the human species - Involved specific kinds of reasoning that have evolutionary significance for own species - The most frequently studied privileged domains relevant to early childhood thinking are the domains of physics & biology - Although these domains obviously are rudimentary in early childhood, they nevertheless direct children to attend to & respond to highly specific & important features of the environment, in particular, the way in which objects & people & other biological organism behave under various conditions 9. Describe evidence supporting the conclusion that young children develop relatively sophisticated biological understandings during the early childhood period. - Young children’s ideas about conception, as well as other biological process are, well, different from ours, & arise in the privileged domain referred to as naïve biology - 3-4 year olds are able to make the distinction between animate & inanimate things, associating self-initiated movement with living creatures - Many of the 3 year olds & most all of the 4 year olds knew that only the animals, & not the artifacts, could move uphill on their own. Even though the animals were not seen in motion, the children’s comments often focused on feet & ‘little legs’ - In addition to knowing that only living things can move themselves, young children know that living things grow & change their appearance, whereas artifacts may change in appearance due to wear or damage but do not grow 10. Describe autistic children’s reasoning about physical and psychological events. How does a modularity account of development explain these results? What evidence suggests that this view may not be entirely accurate? - A study of Australian children conducted by Candida Peterson found that when asked questions about biological function, “what does your heart do?” & “ what does your brain do?” Autistic children performed at least as well as typically developing children - In other study focused on the domains of physics & psychology, autistic children performed better than did typically developing children—but they also tended to explain psychological events in term of physical causation - Autistic children perform very well in some privileged domains but routinely fail false-belief tasks, lead many developmentalists to argue for the existence of isolated models & to speculate the autism is due to a cognitive defect in a theory-of mind model


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