Theories of Cognitive Development
After two years of working with children, Piglet finally realizes what he anted to Investigate – children’s development! He noticed that children of a younger aged answered questions qualitatively different than those of an older age. This suggested to him that younger children were not less knowledgeable, but gave different answers because they thought differently. Background: Piglet’s theory is based on stages, whereby each stage represents a qualitatively different type of thinking. Children in stage one cannot think the same as children in stage 2, 3 or 4 etc.
Transitions from one stage to another are generally very fast, and the stages always follow an invariant sequence. Another important characteristic of his stage theory is that they are universal; the stages will work for everyone in the world regardless of their differences (except their age, of course, which is what the stages are based on! ) Piglet acknowledged that there is an interaction between a child and the environment, and this is a focal point for his theory. He believed a child cannot learn unless they are constantly interacting with their environment, making mistakes and then learning from them.
He defined children as “lone scientists”; he did not identify any need for
Need essay sample on "Theories of Cognitive Development"? We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you for only $ 13.90/page
They are cognitive structures that represent a certain aspect of the world, and can be seen as categories which have certain pre- incentive Ideas In them. For example, my schema formalists Includes: Christmas trees, presents, giving, money, green, red, gold, winter, Santa Claus etc. Someone else may have an entirely different schema, such as Jesus, birth, Church, holiday, Christianity etc. Of course, there are schemata for all kinds of things – yourself (self schemata), other people (people schemata), events/situations (event schemata) and roles/occupations (role schemata).
With regards to Piglet’s theory, a child might have a pre-conceived schema for a dog. If the household has a small West Highland White interacts with a new dog – perhaps a Labrador, it will change to incorporate the new information, such as “big, golden, smooth etc. ” This is known as: * Assimilation Simply the process of incorporating new information into a pre-existing schema. So with the “dog” example, the child assimilated the Laborer’s information into the old dog schema. Assimilation is essentially fitting new information into schemata we already have in place. Unfortunately, this can lead to stereotyping.
For example, if an old lady sees a teenager mug another person, she might assimilate Moline” or “crime” into her teenage schema. Next time she sees a teenager, her schema will be applied to them – and although they may be a kind person, she will probably show prejudice. Assimilation is normally a simple process, as new information already fits the pre-existing categories. * Accommodation When coming across a new object for the first time, a child will attempt to apply an old schema to the object. For consistency, let’s use the dog example again. The child may have “four legs, furry’ in their dog schema.
When coming across another similar animal, such as a cat, they might say “Look, a dog! ” – that’s assimilation. However, hen told that it’s actually a cat – not a dog – they will accommodate the new information into another schema. They will now form a “cat” schema; “not all four legged furry animals are dogs – some are cats too! “. They have accommodated the new information. The process Just mentioned – of assimilation then accommodation is known as – * Adaptation Assimilation and accommodation are the two parts of adaptation – which is simply what it says – adapting our schemata to make an accurate (enough) model of the world we live in.
It is a form of learning, but an entirely different form to the kind odd see in behaviorism psychology for example (such as operant/classical conditioning). * Equilibrium Piglet suggested that humans naturally strive to achieve a cognitive balance; there must be a balance between applying prior knowledge (assimilation) and changing schemata to account for new information (accommodation). Piglet suggested that when a child has a schema which doesn’t fit reality, there is tension in the mind.
By balancing the use of assimilation and accommodation, this tension is reduced and we can proceed to higher levels of thought and learning (equilibration). QUICK SUMMARY: Children have schemata (cognitive structures that contain pre-existing ideas of the world), which are constantly changing. Schemata constantly undergo adaptation, through the processes of assimilation and accommodation. When seeing new objects there is a state of tension, and a child will attempt to assimilate the information to see if it fits into prior schemata.
If this fails, the information must be accommodated by either adding new schemata or modifying the existing ones to accommodate the information. By balancing the use of assimilation and accommodation, an equilibrium is created, reducing cognitive tension equilibration). I The four stages of Piglet’s theory of Cognitive Development. The following stages form the bulk of Piglet’s theory. Vive kept you waiting long enough – so here they are, explained to the fullest of my knowledge! Vive actually studied this over about 3 years anything out, please don’t hesitate to inform me. STAGE ONE: The Seniority stage Occurs from birth to appear. Years old. During this stage, information is received through all the senses. The child tries to make sense of the world during this stage, and as the name suggests, only senses and motor abilities are used to do so. The child utilizes innate behaviors to enhance this learning process, such as sucking, looking, grasping, crying and listening. To make this even more complex, there are 6 sub-stages of this one stage. To begin, the child uses only reflexes and innate behavior. Towards the end of this stage, the child uses a range of complex seniority skills. The sub-stages are as follows: 1.
Reflexes (0-1 month): The child uses only innate reflexes. For example, if a nipple or dummy is put into a baby’s mouth, they will reflexively suck on it. If an object is placed in their palm, the hand will automatically grab it. These reflexes have the sole function of keeping the child alive. 2. Primary Circular Actions (1-4 months): The child now has a fixation with it’s own body with regards to behavior(what Piglet refers to as primary behavior); they will perform actions repeatedly on themselves (like sucking their own hand). They also begin to refine reflexes here to form more complex versions of them. 3.
Secondary Circular Reactions (4-8 months): At around 4 months, the child begins to take an interest in their environment (their behavior is secondary). They notice that they can actually influence events in their world, for example they can drop a teddy which bashes a ball on the floor. Although this occurs, the infant will not make conscious connections between what they do and the consequences, they merely observe that their actions have interesting effects. 4. Co-ordination of Secondary Circular Reactions (8-12 months): At this point, the child begins to engage in goal-directed behavior; they begin to develop cause-effect relationships.
So rather than crawl over to a teddy in a cart to pick it up, they might instead pull the cart over with the teddy in to acquire it. The child effectively knows that their behavior will have a certain consequence. At this stage, object permanence is acquired – but I will explain this after these sub-stages. 5. Tertiary Circular Reactions (12-18 months): At this stage, children like to use creativity and flexibility with their previous behaviors, and the result of their experimentation often leads to different outcomes. So rather than grabbing a box, they might instead try to tilt or manipulate it. . Symbolic/Mental Representation (18-24 months): At this stage, the child develops symbolic thought and the ability to mentally represent objects in their head. Normally, the child would need to resort to trial-and-error to achieve a desired effect. Now, however, the child can ‘plan’ to some extent and mentally construct the consequences of an action in their head. Of course, predictions are not always accurate, but it is a step up from trial-and-error. There are two key examples of mental representation in children: object permanence and deferred imitation.
Object permanence is when objects exist even when out of sight. In the first three sub-stages, children will not attempt to search for an object which is hidden from their view; in their mind, the object simply ceases to exist as they cannot see it. At sub-stage four, however, they show this characteristic of object permanence. If an object is hidden from them, they will attempt to find it, but will repeatedly look in the sub-stage 6, the child is able to mentally represent the object in their mind, leading to exploration for an object even if it is moved.
They will continue to look for an object until they find it, as they understand objects exist regardless of where they are. Deferred imitation is simply the imitation of behavior a child has seen before. As a child can mentally represent behavior they have seen, they are able to enact it through playing and in other situations. So a child might talk down a toy telephone or ‘steer’ a toy car around the room. Seniority quick evaluation: Bower (1982) found that children display object permanence at a much younger age than Piglet suggested.
Children at 3 h months old show surprise (an elevated heart-rate) when a screen is removed to reveal an object has disappeared , than when the object remains. Willets (1989) showed that children plan to move obstacles to desired toys through planning much earlier than Piglet’s theory would suggest they could. I STAGE TWO: The operational stage Occurs from 2-7 years of age. The mental representation of the seniority stage provides a smooth transition to semiotic functioning in the pre-operational stage. This essentially means that a child can use one object to represent another (symbolically).
For example, a child swinging their arms in a circular motion might represent the wheels on a train, or sticking their arms out and running might symbolism the movement of an airplane. This shows the relationships children can form between language, actions and objects at this stage. A major characteristic of this stage is egocentrics: perception of the world in relation to oneself only. Children struggle to perceive situations from another point of view or perspective, as shown by Piglet and Inhaler’s Three Mountains Task (1956). In this study, children were asked what can be perceived from certain positions on a AD model.
See the diagram below for a clearer idea. Piglet and Inhaler: Three Mountains Task (1956)”] The child would have been asked, “What view does Piglet have? “. In the actual study though, they were shown around 8 cards of possible viewpoints rather than the three above. As you can imagine, the children struggled to decentralized and pick the correct picture. Another feature of this stage is conservation. Children struggle to understand the difference in quantity and measurements in different situations. For example, suppose a child is shown a short, fat beaker full of water.
When that water is transferred entirely to a tall, thin beaker – we would know the level of water is identical – only the beaker has changed. However, a child in this stage will conclude there is more water in the tall beaker, Just because the level of water looks higher. Children in this stage also lack the required cognition to apply reversibility to situations; they cannot imagine objects or numbers reversed to their previous form. This will be explored in the next stage (where reversibility IS present). When a child as the ability to decent, they are said to progress to the next stage.
Pre- operational quick evaluation: Miscarriage & Donaldson (1978) found that when a “naughty teddy’ was used to scatter sweets around, children were more likely to conserve the correct amount of sweets. This suggests Piglet’s methods were simply Miscarriage (1978) found that rephrasing Piglet’s original questions to simpler, more child-orientated forms helped increase the amount of correct answers they provided. So is it that Piglet was correct, or Just that his methodology was too complex for STAGE THREE: The concrete operational stage Occurs from 7-11 years of age.
This stage sees another shift in children’s cognitive thinking. It is aptly named “concrete” because children struggle to apply concepts to anything which cannot physically be manipulated or seen. Nevertheless, the child continues to improve their conservation skills, and by the age of 11 they can conserve numbers, weight and volume (acquired in that order). The child can also understand principles of “class inclusion”; perspective tasks become much easier, and children begin to understand that other people actually have different views to themselves.
Simple math, such as edition/subtraction become much easier. However, as this stage is concrete, Piglet suggests children will struggle to apply any prior knowledge to abstract situations. For example, when asked serration tasks such as “John is taller than Pete. John is shorter than Simon. Who is tallest? ” , concrete children often fail to provide a correct answer as the situation is too abstract. However, when dolls are used to represent Pete, Simon and John, the children are able to answer – as the situation is bought back to a concrete one with physical representations.
Concrete-operational quick valuation: Tomlinson-Ceases (1978) found that acquisition of conservation does occur in the order Piglet suggested. Jihad (1983), however, found that 9 year old Zimmermann children had expert knowledge of small businesses and trade compared to British children of the same age. Zimmermann children knew about the strategies involved in business, as it was hugely beneficial to have this knowledge from a young age in their culture. This is an important criticism for Piglet’s theory; it doesn’t appear to account for cross-cultural differences.
I **** STAGE FOUR: The Formal operational stage. Occurs from age 11 onwards. Children at this stage acquire the ability to think hypothetically and “outside the box”. Logical conclusions can be inferred from verbal information, and “concrete”, physical objects are no longer necessary. When presented with a problem, children at this stage can consider solutions to the problem in a logical manner. The child becomes increasingly “adult-like” with regards to their cognitive abilities. Scientific reasoning is apparent in this stage, and is indicated by Piglet and Inhaler’s Pendulum Task (1958).
When asked to determine the effect different weights and rope length have on he speed of a swinging pendulum, formal operational children came to consistent and logical conclusions. Formal operational quick evaluation: Marathon (1977) found a massive range in ability between 12-18 year old females in the USA. He found the ability to complete formal operational tasks successfully ranged from 15-95%. This suggests that formal operational principles may be acquired, but it takes a range of time to apply them to different situations.
Dander and Day (1977) found that students trained to complete formal operational tasks showed increases in the ability around 17 years of age. This suggests that the beginning of the formal operational stage (age processes, but may not specifically gain them without training. Think about why this is important! It may indicate that Piglet underestimated the role of teaching in his theory; he emphasized the concept of a “lone scientist” as mentioned above. Maybe this isn’t so? Maybe there is a need for interaction and a teacher?
I Erik Erosion’s Theory of Child Development Erik Erikson (1950) does not talk about psychosocial Stages, he discusses psychosocial stages. His ideas, though, were greatly influenced by Freud, going along tit Fraud’s ideas about the structure and topography of personality. Although, whereas Freud was an id psychologist, Erikson was an ego psychologist. He emphasized the role of culture and society and the conflicts that can take place within the ego itself, whereas Freud emphasized the conflict between the id and the superego.
At all psychosocial stages Erikson claimed that the individual develops on three levels simultaneously: Biological, social and psychological (representing the organism, membership of society and individualism respectively). His model was a fiestas model of development, taking in 5 stages up to the age of 18 years and three further stages beyond, well into adulthood. Erikson suggests that there is still plenty of room for continued growth and development throughout one’s life. Erikson put a great deal of emphasis on the adolescent period, feeling it was a crucial stage for developing a person’s identity.
Like Freud and many others, Erik Erikson maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order. The outcome of this ‘maturation timetable’ is a wide and integrated set of life skills and abilities that function together thin the autonomous individual. However, Instead of focusing on sexual development (like Freud), he was interested in how children socialize and how this affects their sense of self. Psychosocial Stages He saw personality as developing throughout the lifetime and looked at identity crises at the focal point for each stage of human development.
Erosion’s theory of psychosocial development has eight distinct stages, each with two possible outcomes. According to the theory, successful completion of each stage results in a healthy personality and successful interactions with others. Failure to successfully omelet a stage can result in a reduced ability to complete further stages and therefore a more unhealthy personality and sense of self. These stages, however, can be resolved successfully at a later time. 1. Trust vs.. Mistrust (birth – 1 year) Is the world a safe place or is it full of unpredictable events and accidents waiting to happen?
Erikson claimed that in this stage the child will develop a sense of basic trust in the world and in his ability to affect events around him. The development of this depends on the consistency of the child’s major caregiver. If the care the child species is consistent, predictable and reliable then the child will develop a sense of trust which he will carry with him to other relationships, and is able to feel secure even when threatened. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of hope. However, if the care has been harsh or inconsistent, unpredictable and unreliable then the around them or in their abilities to influence events.
This child will carry the basic sense of mistrust with him to other relationships. It may result in anxiety, heightened insecurities, and an over feeling of mistrust in the world around them. 2. Autonomy vs.. Shame and Doubt (2 – 3 years) The child is developing physically and becoming more mobile. Between the ages of one and three, children begin to assert their independence, by walking away from their mother, picking which toy to play with, and making choices about what they like to wear, to eat, etc. Erikson says that this is the point at which the child can develop a certain amount of independence/autonomy.
It is at this stage that the child needs support from parents so that repeated failures and ridicule are not the only experiences encountered. So, the parents need to encourage the child to becoming ore independent whilst at the same time protecting the child so that constant failure is avoided. A delicate balance is required from the parent…. They must try not to do everything for the child but if the child fails at a particular task they must not criticize the child for failures and accidents (particularly when toilet training).
The aim has to be “self-control without a loss of self-esteem” (Gross, 1993). Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of will. If children in this stage are encouraged and supported in their increased independence, they become more confident and secure in their own ability to survive in the world. If children are criticized, overly controlled, or not given the opportunity to assert themselves, they begin to feel inadequate in their ability to survive, and may then become overly dependent upon others, lack self-esteem, and feel a sense of shame or doubt in their own abilities. . Initiative vs.. Guilt (3- 5 years) These are particularly lively, rapid-developing years in a child’s life. According to Bee (1992) it is a “time of vigor of action and of behaviors that the parents may see as aggressive”. The child takes initiatives which the parents will often try to stop in order to protect the child. The child will often overstep the mark in his forcefulness and the danger is that the parents will tend to punish the child and restrict his initiatives too much. Around age three and continuing to age six, children assert themselves more frequently.
They begin to plan activities, make up games, and initiate activities with others. If given this opportunity, children develop a sense of initiative, and feel secure in their ability to lead others and make decisions. Conversely, if this tendency is squelched, either through criticism or control, children develop a sense of guilt. They may feel like a nuisance to others and will therefore main followers, lacking in self-initiative. It is at this stage that the child will begin to ask many questions as his thirst for knowledge grows.
If the parents treat the child’s questions as trivial, a nuisance or embarrassing or other aspects of their behavior as threatening then the child may have feelings of guilt for “being a nuisance”. Too much guilt can make the child slow to interact with others and may inhibit their creativity. Some guilt is, of course, necessary otherwise the child would not know how to exercise self-control or have a conscience. A healthy balance between initiative and guilt is important. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of purpose. 4. Industry (competence) vs..
Inferiority (6 – 12 years) make things on their own. Teachers begin to take an important role in the child’s life as they teach the child specific skills. It is at this stage that the child’s peer group will gain greater significance and will become a major source of the child’s self-esteem. The child now feels the need to win approval by demonstrating specific competencies that are valued by society, and begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments. If children are encouraged and reinforced for their initiative, they egging to feel industrious and feel confident in their ability to achieve goals.
If this initiative is not encouraged, if it is restricted by parents or teacher, then the child begins to feel inferior, doubting his own abilities and therefore may not reach his potential. If the child cannot develop the specific skill they feel society is demanding then they may develop a sense of inferiority. Some failure may be necessary so that the child can develop some modesty. Yet again, a balance between competence and modesty is necessary. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of competence. 5. Identity vs.. Role Confusion (13 – 18 years) During adolescence, the transition from childhood to adulthood is most important.
Children are becoming more independent, and begin to look at the future in terms of career, relationships, families, housing, etc. This is a major stage in development where the child has to learn the roles he will occupy as an adult. It is during this stage that the adolescent will re-examine his identity and try to find out exactly who he is. Erikson suggests that two identities are involved: the sexual and the occupational. According to Bee (1992), what should happen at the end of this stage is a reintegrated sense of self, of what one wants to do or be, and of one’s appropriate sex role”.
During this stage the body image of the adolescent changes. Erikson claims that the adolescent may feel uncomfortable about their body for a while until they can adapt and “grow into” the changes. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of fidelity. During this period, they explore possibilities and begin to form their own identity based upon the outcome of their explorations. This sense of who they are can be hindered, which results in a sense of confusion (“l don’t know what I want to e when I grow up”) about themselves and their role in the world. 6.
Intimacy vs.. Isolation (young adulthood) Occurring in young adulthood (ages 18-40), we begin to share ourselves more intimately with others. We explore relationships leading toward longer term commitments with someone other than a family member. Successful completion can lead to comfortable relationships and a sense of commitment, safety, and care within a relationship. Avoiding intimacy, fearing commitment and relationships can lead to isolation, loneliness, and sometimes depression. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of love. . Generatively vs..
Stagnation (middle adulthood) During middle adulthood (ages 40-65), we establish our careers, settle down within a relationship, begin our own families and develop a sense of being a part of the bigger picture. We give back to society through raising our children, being productive at work, and becoming involved in community activities and organizations. By failing to achieve these objectives, we become stagnant and feel Despair (old age) As we grow older (65 years and over) and become senior citizens, we tend to slow down our productivity, and explore life as a retired person.
It is during this time that we contemplate our accomplishments and are able to develop integrity if we see ourselves as leading a successful life. Erik Erikson believed if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our pasts, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of wisdom. Critical Evaluation Erikson is rather vague about the causes of development.
What kinds of experiences must people have in order to successfully various psychosocial conflicts? Indeed, Erikson (1964) acknowledges his theory is more a descriptive overview of human social and emotional development that does not adequately how or why this development occurs. For example, Erikson does not explicitly explain how the outcome of one psychosocial stages influence personality at a later stage. One of the strengths of Erosion’s theory is his ability to tie together important psychosocial development across the entire lifespan.
Summary Jean Piglet’s ideas regarding how a child develops has had an enormous influence on our views about babies and children. He said children are not little adults; rather, their thinking is different. Covering every life stage from birth to death, Erik Erickson theory differs from many other developmental theories and adds a social experience point of view to the discussion about development. He examined how a person socialites, and how this affects her sense of self and well-being. Professional Similarities Piglet (1896-1980) was a developmental psychologist and biologist.
Erik Erickson (1902-1994) was a developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst. Both were developmental psychologists who brought another perspective and tradition to their work. The influence of their other professions can be seen in their theories. Piglet used ideas influenced by biology to explain children’s development; for example, assimilation and accommodation are vital concepts in his theory. Both of these terms are related to adaptation to the environment and are used in biology. Erickson developed ego in this theory, a term that was introduced by Fraud’s psychoanalysis.
Stage Theories Piglet described the cognitive development of children in his theory, which stresses internal growth and development. Erickson theory describes how external social structure influences an individual. Both theorists proposed theories that are built upon stages. Fixed Stages Piglet’s theory includes four stages of development; an individual reaches the final stages at around 11. Erickson theory contains eight stages, and an individual reaches the last stage at age 55 (or 65). Both theories stress that a person passes is the same.
It is not possible to Jump over a stage and reach a higher stage more quickly. Similar Stages There are similarities in both theories in the ages at which children reach a stage and regarding the sequence of life events. Piglet’s first stage takes place during a child’s first two years, while Erickson first stage describes the first year. During the institutor stage, Piglet says children learn to move and operate their bodies, and Erickson describes how a child learns to trust his environment and how this helps a child to grow as an individual.
Piglet and Erickson stress the importance of reflexes and instinctive behavior during the first years. Both theories minimize the influences of biological changes during puberty and stress the importance of the development of self-concept during adolescence. Adolescence is Piglet’s final stage called the formal stage. Erickson calls this stage adolescence. Piglet’s theory of how children’s minds develop, definitely relates to the young people I work with at Ambergris as it is true that they cannot undertake certain tasks until they are psychologically mature enough to do so.