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21 Cards in this Set

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The process in which people understand an experience in terms of their current stage of cognitive development and way of thinking


Changes in existing ways of thinking that occur in response to encounters with new stimuli or events

Acquisitive stage

According to Schale, the first stage of cognitive development, encompassing all of childhood and adolescence, in which the main developmental task is to acquire information

Achieving stage

The point reached by young adults in which intelligence is applied to specific situations involving the attainment of long-term goals regarding careers, family, and societal contributions.


The process of concentrating on one limited aspect of a stimulus and ignoring other aspects.


The knowledge that quantity is unrelated to the arrangement and physical appearance of objects

Deferred imitation

An act in which a person who is no longer present is imitated by children who have witnessed a similar act

Egocentric thought

Thinking that does not take into account the viewpoints of others

Goal directed behavior

Behavior in which several schemes are combined and coordinated to generate a single act to solve a problem

Intuitive thought

Thinking that reflects preschoolers use of primitive reasoning and their avid acquisition of knowledge about the world

Mental representation

An internal image of a past event or object

Object permanence

The realization that people and objects exist even when they cannot be seen


Organized, formal, logical mental processes

Preoperational stage

According to Piaget, the stage from approximately age 2 to age 7 in which childrens use of symbolic thinking grows, mental reasoning emerges, and the use of concepts increases

Postformal thought

Thinking that acknowledges that adult predicaments must sometimes be solved in relativistic terms.


An organized pattern of sensorimotor functioning

Sensorimotor stage (of cognitive development)

Piaget's initial major stage of cognitive development, which can be broken down into six substages

Symbolic function

The ability to use a mental symbol, a word, or an object to stand for or represent something that is not physically present


The support for learning and problem solving that encourages independence and growth


The process in which one state is changed into another

Zone of proximal development (ZPD)

According to Vygotsky, the level at which a child can almost, but not fully, perform a task independently, but can do so with the assistance of someone more competent