Developmental Psychology: 333 Book/Lecture Notes Chapter 7: cognitive Development: Piaget’s Theory and Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Viewpoint Chapter 7 Definitions: Cognition: the activity of knowing and the processes through which knowledge is acquired Cognitive development: changes that occur in mental activities such as attending, perceiving, learning, thinking, and remembering. Genetic epistemology: the experimental study of the development of knowledge, developed by Piaget. Intelligence: in Piaget’s theory, a basic life function that enables and organism to adapt to its environment. Cognitive equilibrium: Piaget’s term for the state of affairs in which there is a balanced, or harmonious, relationship between one’s though processes and the environment. Constructivist: one who gains knowledge b acting or otherwise operating on objects and events to discover their properties. Scheme: an organized pattern of thought or action that one constructs to interpret some aspect of one’s experience (also call cognitive structure). Organization: an inborn tendency to combine and integrate available schemes into coherent systems or bodies of knowledge. Adaptation: an inborn tendency to adjust to the demands of the environment. Assimilation: the process of interpreting new experiences by incorporating them into existing schemes. Accommodation: the process of modifying existing schemes in order to incorporate or adapt to new experiences. Invariant developmental sequence: a series of developments that occur in one particular order because each development in the sequence is a prerequisite for those appearing later. Sensorimotor period: Piaget’s first intellectual stage, from birth to 2 years, when infants are relying on behavioral schemes as a means of exploring and understanding the environment. Reflex activity: first substage of Piaget’s Sensorimotor stage; infant’s action are confined to exercising innate reflexes, assimilating new objects into these reflexive schemes, and accommodating their reflexes to these novel objects. Primary circular reactions: second substage of Piaget’s Sensorimotor stage; a pleasurable response, centered on the infant’s own body, that is discovered by chance and performed over and over. Secondary circular reactions: third substage of Piaget’s Sensorimotor stage; a pleasurable response, centered on an external object, that is discovered by chance and performed over and over. Coordination of secondary circular reactions: fourth substage of Piaget’s sensorimotor stage; infants begin to coordinate two or more actions to achieve simple objectives. This is the first sign of goal-directed behavior. Teritary circular reactions: fifth substage of Piaget’s sensorimotor stage; an exploratory scheme in which the infant devises a new method of acting on objects to reproduce interesting results. Inner experimentation: in the sixth substage of Piaget’s sensorimotor stage, the ability to solve simple problems on a mental, or symbolic, level without having to rely on trial-and-error experimentation. Deferred imitation: the ability to reproduce a modeled activity that has been witnessed at some point in the past. Object permanence: the realization that objects continue to exist when they are no longer visible or detectable through the other senses. Neo-nativism: the idea that much cognitive knowledge, such as object concept is innate, requiring little in the way of specific experiences to be expressed and that there re biological constraints, in that the mind/brain is designed to process certain types of information in certain ways. Theory theories: theories of cognitive development that combine neo-nativism and constructivism, proposing that cognitive development progresses by children generating, testing, and changing theories about the physical and social world. Preoperational period: Piaget’s second stage of cognitive development, lasting from about age 2 to age 7, when children are thinking at a symbolic level but are not yet using cognitive operations. Symbolic function: the ability to use symbols (for example, images and words) to represent objects and experiences. Representational insight: the knowledge that an entity can stand for (represent) something other than itself. Dual representation (dual encoding): the ability to represent an object simultaneously as an object itself and as a representation of something else. Animism: attributing life and lifelike qualities to inanimate objects. Egocentrism: the tendency to view the world from one’s own perspective while failing to recognize that others may have different points of view. Appearance/reality distinction: ability to keep the true properties or characteristics of an object in mind despite the deceptive appearance the object has assumed; notably lacking among young children during the preconceptual period. Centration (centered thinking): in Piaget’s theory, the tendency of preoperational children to attend to one aspect of a situation to the exclusion of theirs; contrast with decentraion. Conservation: the recognition that the properties of an object or substance do not change when its appearance is altered in some superficial way. Decentration: in Piaget’s theory, the ability of concrete operational children to consider multiple aspects of a stimulus or situation; contrast with centration. Reversibility: the ability to reverse, or negate an action by mentally performing the opposite action (negation) Identity training: an attempt to promote conservation by teaching non-conservers to recognize that a transformed object or substance is the same object or substance, regardless of its new appearance. Theory of mind: a person’s concepts of mental activity; used to refer to how children conceptualize mental activity and how they attribute intention to and predict the behavior of others. Belief-desire reasoning: the process whereby we explain and predict what people do based on what we understand their desires and beliefs to be. False-belief task: a type of task used in theory-of-mind studies, in which the child must infer that another person does not possess knowledge that he or she possesses (that is, that other person holds a belief that is false. Concrete-operational period: Piaget’s third stage of cognitive development, lasting from about age 7 to age 11, when children are acquiring cognitive operations and thinking more logically about real objects and experiences. Mental seriation: a cognitive operation that allows one to mentally order a set of stimuli along a quantifiable dimension such as height or weight. Transitivity: the ability to recognize relations among elements in a serial order (for example: if A>B and B>C then A>C) Horizontal decalage: Piaget’s term for a child’s uneven cognitive performance; an inability to solve certain problems even though one can solve similar problems requiring the same mental operations. Formal operations: Piaget’s fourth and final stage of cognitive development, from age 11 or 12 and beyond, when the individual begins to think more rationally and systematically about abstract concepts and hypothetical events. Hypothetico-deductive reasoning: in Piaget’s theory, a formal operational ability to think hypothetically. Inductive reasoning: the type of thinking that scientists display, where hypotheses are generated and then systematically tested in experiments. Sociocultural theory: Vygotsky’s perspective on cognitive development, in which children acquire their culture’s values, beliefs, and problem-solving strategies through collaborative dialogues with more knowledgeable members of society. Ontogenetic development: development of the individual over his or her lifetime. Microgenetic development: changes that occur over relatively brief periods of time, in seconds, minutes, or days, as opposed to larger-scale changes, as conventionally studied in ontogenetic development. Phylogenetic development: development over evolutionary time. Sociohistorical development: changes that have occurred in one’s culture and the values, norms, and technologies such a history has generated. Tools of intellectual adaptation: Vygotsky’s term for methods of thinking and problem-solving strategies that children internalize from their interactions with more competent members of society. Zone of proximal development: Vygotsky’s term for the range of tasks that are too complex to be mastered alone but can be accomplished with guidance and encouragement from a more skillful partner. Scaffolding: process by which an expert, when instructing a novice, responds contingently to the novice’s behavior in a leaning situation, so that the novice gradually increases his/her understanding of a problem. Guided participation: adult-child interactions in which children’s cognitions and modes of thinking are shaped as they participate with or observe adults engaged in culturally relevant activities. Context-independent learning: learning that has no immediate relevance to the present context, as is done in modern schools; acquiring knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Egocentric speech: Piaget’s term for the subset of a young child’s utterances that are nonsocial-that is, neither directed to others nor expressed in ways that listeners might understand. Private speech: Vygotsky’s term for the subset of a child’s verbal utterances that serve a self-communicative function and guide the child’s thinking. Cognitive self-guidance system: in Vygotsky’s theory, the use of private speech to guide problem-solving behavior.