Big questions about development.
Morality: origin of moral thought, we start off as immoral or amoral - Hobbes & freud believe we start off as animals - Jean-jacques Rousseau believes we’re basically good and culture corrupts Continuity: What’s the relationship between between children and adults? - How much of who we end up is set by genes? Cognitive development: How much of what we know now are we born with and how much we have to learn? - Empiricism - We start off at empty and then we learn and learn and learn. - Nativism - We are born with rich powerful structure systems in our brain. - Constructivist - Learning, interaction, dealing with environment, makes us who we are
- interested in the development of knowledge in the human species
- you can see the development of the species is repeated, recapitulated, in the development of every individual.
schemas:“So what did Jean Piaget have to say? Well, he thought of children as active thinkers. He may call them little scientists trying to make sense of the world. And he described these understandings as schemas. And schemas were mental systems”
piagets theory of cognitive development
- assimilation: The process of taking new information or a new experience and fitting it into an existing schema
- accommodation: The process by which schemas are changed or created in order to fit new information
Stages of piagets developmental theory
- age 0-2
- information is gained through the sense and motor actions
- The child perceives and manipulates but does not reason
- object permanence is acquired
- the understanding that objects exist independent of ones actions or perceptions of them
- Before 6 months infants act as if objects removed from sight cease to exist
- age 2-7
- Emergence of symbolic thought
- Reasoning develops, but not high level
- What Piaget meant was, children literally can’t see the world through anothers eyes, they literally can’t understand that other people have different perspectives than they have.
- Struggle to understand other people could know something they don’t
- Lack of the concept of conservation
- age 7-12
- Understanding of mental operations leading to increasingly logical thought
- Less egocentric
- Inability to reason abstractly or hypothetically
- age 12-adult
- Abstract and scientific reasoning
Limitations of Q&A
- Children are not very verbal
- sensitive to task demands/examinationer demands
- say/do things to please examinator
Methods for studying infants
- Brain scans - Sucking - if you wanted to know if a baby prefers A or B put a pacifier in their mouth when they suck on the pacifier the response is A the baby will eventually learn sucking on pacifier leads to A response so it will suck on the pacifier if it prefers A and won’t if B - Looking - Showing a series of pictures of similar things you become bored if it’s three dogs, three cats (cont) once bordem sets in if you switch to two dogs, two cats and the subject becomes interested again which shows you understand two dogs =/= three dogs it’s different and interesting - Some studies on infants show they do have object pertinence Karen Wynn (toy addition/subtraction test)
Paul Bloom & Karen Wynn did an experiment trying to display morality in babies, the babies where shown two puppet plays, one containing a moral character and one an immoral character they were then asked to choose which character (puppet) they want to play with and they chose the moral puppet
One way in which adults and children are different is children (3yrs) are less capable of deception due to struggles with comprehending people can be fooled but a child of just one year older can, which leads to him being able to understand he can think and know things others don’t - to test this there is the sally & anne test
How do we explain development?
- Brain doesn’t become more and more interconnected (between neurons)
- In early development we go through pruning, getting rid of neuron connections
- modernization, The myelin sheath around neurons that makes them run faster and more effectively takes time to develop.
- Frontal lobe, frontal lobe doesn’t develop till later in life so they have less inhibition
A modular concept for development
The brain contains specific modules for
- physical world
- innate knowledge
- language development
- social understanding
- Autism: a damaged module?
- Motor module