Theory of Cognitive Development
• Developmental psychology
• Concerns the growth of intelligence, which for Piaget, meant the ability to more accurately represent the world and perform logical operations on representations of concepts grounded in interactions with the world
• Schemata – schemes of how one perceives the world; emerges and is developed in developmental stages
• We construct our cognitive abilities through self-motivated action in the world
• Assimilation – take in material from the environment
• Accommodation – difference made to your mind to understand what you take in from the environment (through assimilation)
o You cannot have one without the other
• Classification – the ability to group objects together on the basis of common features
• Class inclusion – the ability to understand that some classes or sets of objects are also sub-sets of a larger class
o Class of dogs, class of animals; all dogs fit into the classification of “animals,” so the class of “animals” includes dogs
• Conservation – realization that objects or sets of objects stay the same even when they are changed about or made to look different
• Decentration – the ability to move away from one system of classification to another one as appropriate
• Egocentrism – belief that you are the center of the universe and everything revolves around you; can’t see the world from another person’s perspective
• Operation – process of working something out in your head; Young children have to act and try things out in the real world (count on your fingers); older people can do it in their head
• Four Stages:
1. Sensorimotor (birth – 2 years)
▪ Development of essential spatial abilities and understanding of the world in 6 sub-stages:
i. Reflex Scheme (birth-1 month)
a. Development of reflexes
b. Grasping, sucking, etc.
ii. Primary... [continues]
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