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A topical approach to life span development, 6e chapter 5

Chapter 5

Cognitive Development

Piaget's Theory

How biology and experience sculpts cognitive development

Children construct their own cognitive worlds and have systematic changes
in their thinking

Piaget's Cognitive Processes

Schemes- the brain creates actions (infants) or mental representations (child) that
organize knowledge

Baby schemes are simple actions that can be performed like sucking, looking,
and grasping (sucking a bottle)

Older Child schemes are strategies and plans for solving problems (opening a
door to get a toy)

Adult schemes (driving a car)

Piaget's Cognitive Processes

Assimilation-the child uses existing schemes to deal with new information or experiences

Child sucks bottle and fingers to eat

Accommodation -the child adjust their schemes to take new information and experiences into

Child sucks bottle to eat but learns to grab finger to play

Organization- the child groups isolated behaviors and thoughts into a higher order, smoothly

functional system

Refining behaviors and organizing knowledge

Piaget's Cognitive Processes

Equilibration- children shift from one stage of thought to the next

As they constantly assimilate and accommodate to seek equilibrium from


Piaget's Theory- (first stage) Sensorimotor Stage

6 substages

Object Permanence

By the end of the sensorimotor stage

Objects and events continue to exist even when they cannot directly be seen heard,or
touched by the child

Piaget calls a 'landmark cognitive accomplishment

How infants learn, remember and

Operant Conditioning- consequences of a behavior reduce changes in the probability of the
behavior's occurrence

Habituation- decreased responsiveness to a stimulus after repeated presentations of the

Dishabituation- the increase in responsiveness after a change in stimulation

Infants attention is strongly governed by novelty and habituation

How infants learn, remember and

Attention- the focusing of mental resources on select information and
improves cognitive processing

Important role in memory as part of the a process called encoding ....

The process by which information is transferred to memory

How infants learn, remember and

Memory-the retention of information over time

Implicit memory- memory refers to memory without conscious recollection

Memories of skills and routine procedures that are performed automatically

Explicit memory-referees to conscious remembering of facts and experiences

How infants learn, remember and

Imitation (Meltzoff)

Infants don't blindly imitate everything they see

Beginning at birth there is an interplay between learning by observing and
learning by doing

How infants learn, remember and

Concepts -key aspects of infants' cognitive development

Cognitive groupings of similar objects, people, or ideals

Mandler - 7-9 months of age-infants form conceptual categories

Measures of Development

Gesell's scale-distinguishes normal and abnormal infants

Provides a developmental quotient

Developmental quotient (DQ) -an overall score that combines sub scores in
motor, language, adaptive, and personal-social domains in the Gesellschaft
assessment of infants

Measures of Development

Bayley Scale - assess infant behavior and predict later development

Mental Scale, Motor Scale, Behavior Profile

Baylee-III - 5 Scales

Cognitive, Language, Motor (infant related)

Socioemotional and Adaptive (Caregiver)

Language Development

Rule Systems (figure 5.9)

Phonology - a Phoneme is the smallest sound unit in a language

Morphology - a morphemes, meaningful units involved in word formation

Syntax - the way words are combined and/or ordered to form acceptable phrases and sentences

Semantics- meaningful words and sentences

Pragmatic so- the system of using appropriate conversation and knowledge of how to effectively use
language in content

Language Development

Language Milestones (figure 5.12)

Crying (birth)

Cooing begins (1-2 months)

Understanding first word (5 months)

Babbling begins (6 months)

Language specific-listener (7-11 months)

Uses gesters, such as pointing, comprehension of words (8-12 months)

First word spoken(13 MONTHS)

Vocabulary spurt starts (18 MONTHS)

Two word utterances (18-24 months)

Language Influences

Biological view- Children are born with ability to detect basic features and rules of language

Behaviorist view- children acquire language as a result of reinforcements (still not proven)

Environmental view-children development of langurs is a consequence of being exposed to different language environments
in the home

Parents should talk extensively with an infant, especially about what the baby is attending to.

Interactionist View- Social and linguistics capacities make language acquisition inevitable.

All agree that both biological capacity and relevant experience are necessary.

Parental Influences
(page 161)

Be an active conversational partner.

Talk in a slowed-down pace and don't worry about how you sound to other adults when you talk to your baby.

Use parent-look and parent-gesters, and name what you are looking at.


Play games

Remember to listen.

Expand and elaborate language abilities and horizons with infants and toddlers.

Adjust to your child's idiosyncrasies instead of working against them.

you talk with infants and toddlers, be simple, concrete, and repetitive.

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