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Developmental Psychology Piaget Notes

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This is an extract of our Developmental Psychology Piaget document, which we sell as part of our Psychology Notes collection written by the top tier of University College Dublin students.

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John Piaget
Started publishing articles on theology etc. by the age of 15
Interested in child development when he started working with Binet
Children of similar ages were making similar mistakes
Some kind of maturation was necessary for our cognitive development
Development is determined by the interaction between the environment and the developing brain
Children are little scientists actively seeking to understand their world
Intelligence involves adapting to your environment
Need to have a system or mental structure in which we can understand the world and new information as it comes in
Looks at 4 distinct stages of cognitive development
Transition from one stage to another is in terms of maturation to compensate for the skill that was deficient in the stage beforehand
Maturation: The child's level of physical development
Organised patterns of behaviour
Mental Operation:
Learning to reach for the mobile

1. Assimilation
The taking in or absorbing some event or experience to some scheme

2. Accommodation
Set up a different scheme. Know what a cat is, sees dog and sees similarities between the two at first and accommodates one into the other. Then eventually will learn the difference. "Oh that's a dog." Adding little lines onto a map.

3. Equilibration
Starting with a whole new map.

Stages of Development from Piaget's Point of View

1. The sensori-motor stage 0-2 years
Sucking/ touching reflexes
Only located in the present
All that they have. Don't yet have the ability to think about things pass this.
Learning to be able to coordinate different reflexes and responses
Object Permancence
Out of sight, out of existence.
Children have no understanding that objects exist where they can't see them
Can't represent objects in their mind unless they are in front of them

2. Pre-operational stage 2-7 years
Children start to learn that objects can exist even when they don't see them
They are able to represent things to themselves symbolically
Children are egocentric and unable to get a perspective. Other people don't seem to have different wishes and desires to their own.
The Three Mountains Task
Think that you can see the same view or perspective as them
Conservation Tasks
Conservation of Number: Shown two rows of counters. If one appears longer than the other but still has the same actual number of counters (more spread out) then they will say it has more.
Why do they fail these tasks?
Centre on their own perspective rather than the view of others
Rigidity of thought
Taller in height. Then it must be full of more liquid.
Focusing on stages instead of transformations.
If they saw that the glass was being poured into the other one, they would cop that it's the same. But they just see the beginning and the end.

3. Concrete Operation Stage 7-12 years
Can perform mental operations
Derive relationships
If B is greater than A. Then A is less than B.
Thinking is still bound by concrete things such as the world of objects.
Struggling with the abstract. Can't accept something that it is outside the rules of their world.

4. Formal Operational Stage 12 onwards
Able to reason at an abstract level
Demonstrate a more systematic and logical approach to their problem solving
Hypothetico- deductive way
Criticisms of the theory
Importance of the education and environment on the child's cognitive development; he believed.
Underestimates the ability of children at different ages
Tasks were leading to negative errors- design of the task
Language that was used with the children
If a question was asked twice, the children think something has changed so look for a change
Memory requirements
Materials/ the number of objects presented was more of the problem
Underestimated Sensorimotor Baillargeon 1987
Gaze time of infants
Look for longer at something unexpected or intriguing
Bower and Wishart
Children playing with the toy. Lights went out. Children still looked for the toy. So they knew it existed even when they couldn't see it
Underestimated pre operational competence
If A is less than B and then B is less than, what's the relationship between A and C
Memory could be an issue (Trabasso) control for memory
This is pre operational transitivity
Donaldson's explanation
Misleading aspect of what the experimenter was saying no longer
Evaluating Piaget's theory
Founded cognitive development
Stated children construct their knowledge
First attempt to explain development
Reasonably accurate overview of how children of different ages think.

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