Koenig Lecture 1 Slides

Topics: Jean Piaget, Child development, Theory of cognitive development Pages: 6 (760 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Psychological Development

Development of thinking

I. How do developmental changes occur? The Great Debate

II. Cognitive development

Cognitive Development:
The development of thinking

I. How do developmental changes occur?

II. Cognitive development
I. Describe: General sequence
II. Explanations: Natural biases, innate expectations, socio-cultural input, language

Describe: General Sequence

1. Infants have primary concepts.

-Object concepts
-Number concepts
-Person concepts

Object Permanence

Objects exist even when not in view

For Piaget, conceptual understanding emerges from sensorimotor development

For 2 substages, infants actions involve their own body.
--Primary circular reactions: repeating actions that are pleasurable (i.e., thumb sucking)

Substages 3, 4, 5 and then substage 6 (18-24 mod):
--Representational thought
---Object permanence, language, pretend play

Baillargeon's Procedure

Habituate to passing car

View block on track

Stare at passing car?



Number or amount stays the same despite changes in appearance

Conservation of number

In conservation tasks…

younger children focus exclusively on one dimension ( the height of liquid or length of chips).

Older children coordinate the vertical dimension and the circumference of the container (or length of the row and 1:1 correspondence.)

Wynn (1992)

Infants in both groups looked longer at the incorrect outcome: --Infants in the 1+1 group looked longer at 1
--Infants in the 2-1 group looked longer at 2
--In control 1+1 condition, infants also looked longer at 3

Wynn concludes:
--> Infants possess numerical concepts.


Contra piaget, it is unlikely that basic number concepts develop late.

Although actions on objects do become progressively coordinated, infants understand much about the solidity, permanence and number of objects before much of this development takes place.


Preoperational stage
--age 2 - 7 years

3 characteristics:
--Governed by egocentrism
--limits that stand in the way of true operational thinking
--very different from adult thinking


Tendency to center oneself or one's point of view.

Three mountain problem

When asked about a doll's perspective, children always choose the picture that matches their own perspective.

False Belief Task
(Wimmer & Perner, 1983)

Test questions

Search question (aka 'belief question'):
"Where will Max look for his chocolate bar?

Think question: "Where does Max think his chocolate is?

Knowledge question: "Does Max know that his mother moved his chocolate?

Percent correct

False Belief Task

Typical pattern of Results

3-year-olds typically fail to indicate the correct location corresponding to Max's (Sally's) FB, and systematically point the the true location

4- and 5-year-olds typically pass the task

Between 4 and 5 years of age, children achieve the basic insight that other people's behavior is guided by their beliefs.


Egocentrism: Tendency to center on wones or one's point of view Innate module: early competence is masked by performance factors Executive function or inhibitory control: to answer correctly on FBT, one needs to inhibit answering with the salient, true location. Conceptual change: Children abandon a 'copy' theory for a 'representational' one. Language: access to conversation and certain syntactic structures supports the belief concept

Do children prefer to learn from more knowledgeable informants? Familiarization: Present children with two speakers who differ in their reliability

Explicit Judgment Question: ask children to indicate the speaker who was not very good at naming things.

Test trials invite children to request and endorse information from one of the speakers

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