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44 Cards in this Set

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the view that people constructed their knowledge and understanding of the world by using what they already know and understand to interpret new experiences


an organized pattern of action (physical) or thought (mental)

-It is a broad concept and can refer to organized patterns of physical action (such as infant reaching to grasp an object) or mental action (such as a high school student thinking about how to solve an algebra problem)

Main processes that guide interactions with the environment

1. Organization – is the tendency of all species to integrate separate elements into increasingly complex higher-order structures. For example, consider the human body.

2. Adaption – refers to every species tendency to make modifications in order to survive and succeed in the environment. Applied to cognitive development, adaptation means changing one’s cognitive structure or ones environment (or both to some degree) in order to better understand the environment.

3. Reflective abstraction – a person notices something in the environment (ex. some specific property of an object or action), and then reflects on it.

•Example for reflective abstraction, a boy playing on the beach might notice that the number of rocks he has is the same regardless of whether he arranges them in a line or a circle or piles them on top of one another. Reflective abstraction in this case involves the child’s noticing that he has the same number of rocks, then thinking about the implication of this fact—the number is not affected by how they are arranged.

Example for reflective abstraction, a boy playing on the beach might notice that thenumber of rocks he has is the same regardless of whether he arranges them in aline or a circle or piles them on top of one another. Reflective abstraction inthis case involves the child’s noticingthat he has the same number of rocks, then thinkingabout the implication of this fact—the number is not affected by how theyare arranged.


the process of bringing new objects or information into a scheme that already exists.

For example, lily pointing to a field with several cows and exclaims, “look mommy, doggies!” She is trying to understand these new animals by thinking about them as something she already understands: “doggies.”


the process of modifying old schemes or creating new ones to fit better with assimilated information.

For example, Lily’s mom added new information about dogs (they are smaller and don’t give us milk), and she learns a new animal (cows are like dogs but larger, they give us milk)


to resolve the disequilibrium, people accommodate, or adjust, their schemes to provide a better fit for the new experience.

Sensorimotor stage

sensorimotor thought (birth to 2 years) children know the world only in terms of their own sensory input (what they can see, smell,taste, touch, and hear) and their physical or motor actions on it (ex. sucking,reaching, and grasping)


infants begin in the early stages as simply reflexive—that is, reacting to environmental stimuli via inborn reflexes. They have no voluntary control over objects or events in their environment but can only react whatever takes place.


babies begin to take actions that they expect to have specific outcomes.

For example, a child who has dropped her rattle and had it handed back to her by her big brother will drop it deliberately and look at her brother, with the expectation that he will pick up the rattle

Object permanence

the fact that objects, events, and people continue to exist even when they are out of a child’s direct line of sensory input or motor action.

Invisible displacement

by 2 years of age the child is able to solve invisible displacement (full mental representation). First, the infant progresses from interacting reflexively with the environment through a trial-and-error phrase to deliberate and intentional actions on the environment. Second, the child develops the ability to mentally represent objects, events, and people.

Preoperational stage

children can use mental representations to think about objects and events are not physically available to see, hear, and touch.

-Limitations: intuitive logic leads to egocentrism, animism, artificialism, and an inability to use more objective forms of logic. Schemes are not reversible, not operational. Children fail conservation tasks because of centration, focus on static endpoints, and lack of reversibility.

-Achievements: flourishing mental representations and symbols are seen in language, art, and play.

Intuitive thought

reasoning based on personal experience or on intuitive logic rather than on any formal system of rules.

·Evidence of intuitive thought can be seen in several characteristics of thinking that are common during the preoperational period, including egocentrism, animism, and artificialism

Symbolic play

where children use make-believe and pretend to embellish the objects and actions in their play.

·For example, when they pretend that a blanket is a magic carpet or a banana is a telephone.


to refer to a young child’s inability to take another person’s perspective


the ideathat inanimate objects have conscious life and feelings—is typical of thepreoperational stage.

·For example, children may say that the sun is shiningbrightly because “it’s happy,” or they may put their pencil down because “it’stired.”


is the notion that natural events or objects (ex. the sun, moon, rain, hurricanes) are under the control of people or of superhuman agents.


certain basic properties of an object (ex. volume, mass & weight) remain the same even if its physical appearance changes.

·For example, having 2 cups (one short and one tall cup) with the same amount of water


is the tendency to focus on only one aspect of a situation at a time instead of taking several aspects into consideration

-In the liquid situation, for example, children tend to focus on the height of the liquid instead of considering that the greater width of one breaker compensates for the taller height of the other

Concrete operation stage

stage of cognitive development in which children are able to think about 2 or more dimensions of a problem (decentered thought), dynamic transformations, and reversible operations

·Theirthoughts is decentered they considermultiple aspects of the problem (understanding the importance of both heightand weight)

·Theyfocus on the dynamic transformations in the problem (realizing that the trueanswer lies in the pouring

·They showthe reversibility of true mental operations (understanding that pouring theliquid back would show they are the same amount)

Class inclusion

childrenalso show their logical abilities when they solve class inclusion

Forexample, show a child a set of five dolls and three teddy bears, and then ask,“Are there more dolls or more toys?” Children in the preoperational stage willtypically answer “more dolls,” because they tend to focus on only one part ofthe problem (dolls vs. bears) and ignore the fact that all objects belong tothe general class of toys

Transitive inference

the process of mentally drawing inferences by comparing relations among objects.

·For example, sue is taller than jean, and jean is taller than Lexi. Who is taller,sue or Lexi? We can draw the inference that sue is taller than Lexi by comparing the relationships from sue and jean to jean and Lexi.

Formal operation stage

when an adolescent gradually learns to use hypotheticodeductive reasoning and to extend logical thinking to abstract concepts hypothetico-deductive


was aprominent Russian psychologist notable for developing a sociocultural theory of child development

-Sociocultural theory– a theory that focuses on how language and culture influence the growth of thought in children


is the process by which external activity and speech become internal and come to be executed mentally.

·Private speech is when children say aloud to themselves; later internalize to form inner speech and mental activity. Eventually they internalize it completely as silent, inner speech

Social interaction

during the first year, infants are also beginning to understand that they can use sounds to communicate their needs and even to control other people’s behavior

·For example, the games and routines you read about earlier (ex. peek-a-boo) help emphasize when and how the infant is expected to contribute to the conversation or interaction.

Private speech

the speech children say aloud to themselves. It is the language (speech) that carries the concepts and cognitive structures to the child, and these concepts become the “psychological tools” that the child will use

Zone of proximal development

as the distance between a child’s “actual development level as determined by independent problem solving” and the child’s level of “potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers”

- ZPD refers to the range of problems a child can solve if given some assistance


providing supportive help when a child is developing a mental function or learning to doa particular task

- Scaffolding takes place during meditation, and it can take many different forms such as doing part of a task for the child, simplifying difficult parts, talking to the child through the task, or giving reminders

Operating space

where the actual manipulation (handle or control) of information takes place

Storage space

a place for storing and remembering the information weare manipulating (handle or control)


is the ability to perform a skill with little or no conscious effort

·The automaticity of cognitive skills is important for increasing processing efficiency

·For example, think about young children who are learning to read. At first, the process is very laborious (requiring effort and time): Children recognize individual letters and attempt combine their sounds to figure out the words. With practice it becomes automatic


is the ability to focus on a particular stimulus (piece of information) without becoming distracted by other pieces of information

- As children get older they are better at maintaining their focus for longer periods of time and they also improve their ability to ignore information that can be distracting


is the process of recoding individual elements in memory into larger groups of information

·For a young child learning the ABC’s a chunk might consist of a single letter; for an experienced reader, a chink could be a whole section of text

Long-term storage

is permanentand unlimited in its capacity

Working memory

refers to the information that is currently active in the memory system and available for use in any mental task

- Limited and decays over time. Only a certain amount of information can be activated at any given time


in store models, it’s the process of bringing information from the long-term store to the short-term store. In network models, is the process of activating information so the it becomes a part of the working memory and thus available for use

Spearman's "g" - know what "g" and "s"

· General intelligence (g)– general intelligence is a broad ability that applies to some extent to all intellectual tasks—essentially, the ability to see how things relate and fit together.

· Specific intelligence (s)– the abilities people have in particular areas, such as reading, verbal, and spatial skills.

Cattell-Horn crystalized and fluid intelligences

fluid ability, much like Spearman’s g is a biologically based ability to think. It essentially involves the ability to perceive relations among elements, and it peaks by around age 18. In contrast, crystalized ability consists of the knowledge and skills people acquire in a particular culture. Crystalized ability includes such things as number ability, mechanical skills,and vocabulary, and it can increase throughout adulthood.

Gardner know intelligences

· Linguistic – abilities to learn languages and use language effectively (ex. lawyers, speakers, writers, and poets

· Logical-mathematical – recognizing and using abstract relations to logically analyze problems, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically (ex. Mathematicians, scientists, engineers,and accountants)

· Musical – rhythmic; creating sounds musical patterns

· Bodily kinesthetic – ex. Dancers, athletes, surgeons,sculptures, and painters

Gardner know intelligences

· Spatial – the ability to perceive, transform and recreate spatial information (ex. Sailors, pilots, and engineers)

· Intrapersonal – understanding yourself, regulating own emotions

· Interpersonal – understand and work efficiently with others, understanding their motivations and intensions

· Naturalist – skill in recognizing and classifying plants and animals

Kohlberg know the levels


created a theory of cognitive development that focused on how children adjust their mental schemes as they learn to understand the world

Sensory register

1st place information enters. Sights and sounds are represented directly and stored briefly.