Basic Mental Operations

Topics: Theory of cognitive development, Jean Piaget, Neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development Pages: 3 (1152 words) Published: April 26, 2015
Basic Mental Operations
Mental operations are operations that affect mental contents. Initially, operations of reasoning have been the object of logic alone. Pierre Janet was one of the first using the concept in psychology. Mental operations have been investigated at a developmental level by Jean Piaget, and from a psychometric perspective by J. P. Guilford. There is also a cognitive approach to the subject, as well as a systems view of it. Since Antiquity, mental operations, more precisely, formal operations of reasoning have been the object of logic. In 1903, Pierre Janet described two types of mental operations: reality operations - mental operations under the control of logic; disinterested operations - escaping the control of reason.

Jean Piaget differentiated a preoperational stage, and operational stages of cognitive development, on the basis of presence of mental operations as an adaptation tool. J. P. Guilford's Structure of Intellect model described up to 180 different intellectual abilities organized along three dimensions—Operations, Content, and Products. According to most logicians, the three primary mental operations are apprehension (understanding), judgement, and inference. Apprehension is the mental operation by which an idea is formed in the mind. If you were to think of a sunset or a baseball, the action of forming that picture in your mind is apprehension. The verbal expression of apprehension is called a term. Judgment is the mental operation by which we predicate something of a subject. Were you to think, "That sunset is beautiful" or "Baseball is the all-American sport" is to make a judgment. The verbal expression of judgment is the statement (or proposition). Inference (or reasoning) is the mental operation by which we draw conclusions from other information. If you were to think, "I like to look at that sunset, because I enjoy beautiful things, and that sunset is beautiful" you would be reasoning. The verbal expression of reasoning...
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