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Flashcards in Problem 1 Deck (42)
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Refers to our biological endowment, in particular, the genes we receive from our parents

--> influences every aspect of our make up

ex.: physical appearance, personality, intellect



Refers to the wide range of environments, that influence our development

ex.: schools --> people we interact with

(physical + social)



Each persons complete set of hereditary information

--> influences behaviors and experiences and vice versa



Study of stable changes in gene expression that are mediated by the environment

ex.: Children with parents who have schizophrenia are at high risk to get it

--> adopted children have an equal chance (environmental factor)


Nature and Nurture

All human characteristics are created through the joint workings of nature and nurture

--> through the constant interaction of our genes + environment


Childrens development as an "active child"

1. Selectively choose what to pay attention to

ex.: mothers face

2. Private speech
--> improves their speech

3. Fantasy play
--> acquiring knowledge about self and other people

4. Make believe dramas
--> Learning how to cope with fears + how to interact with others

=> their contributions to their own development strengthens and broadens as they grow older


Continuous development

Refers to the idea that changes with age occur gradually


Discontinuous Development

Refers to the idea that changes with age include occasional large shifts

--> reasoning: children of different ages seem qualitatively different


Conservation of liquid quantity problem

Classic technique designed to test childrens' level of thinking

--> 4-5 y/o are not able to understand that the amount of water in the narrower glass is the same as in the broader glass

--> 7-8 y/o will understand the difference


Theory of cognitive development

Between brith and adolescence, children go through 4 stages of cognitive growth

--> each characterized by distinct intellectual abilities


Piagets explanation of the conservation problem

2-5 y/o can only focus on one aspect of an event

7-8 y/o can simultaneously focus on and coordinate two or more aspects of an event


Piaget's fundamental assumptions

1. Children are mentally and physically ACTIVE from the moment of birth

2. Children LEARN many important lessons ON THEIR OWN rather than depending on adults

3. Children are INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED to learn
--> do not need rewards from other people to do so


Sources of continuity

1. Assimilation

2. Accommodation

3. Equilibration



The process by which people incorporate incoming information into concepts they already understood

ex.: child knows a dalmatiner is a dog
--> will think a cow is also a dog due to similar appearance



The process by which people improve their current understanding in response to new experiences

ex.: parent explains the difference between cow + dog
--> with the new info the child is able to accommodate prior dog concept to the standard one



The process by which children balance assimilation + accommodation to create a stable understanding


3 Stages of the attainment of Equilibrium

1. Equilibrium
--> being satisfied with ones understanding of a phenomenon

2. Disequilibrium
--> new information leads the child to perceive his/her understanding as inadequate

3. Advanced Equilibrium
--> Development of a more sophisticated understanding of the phenomenon

=> through numerous such equilibrations children acquire knowledge of the world around them


Sources of discontinuity

1. Qualitative change

2. Broad applicability

3. Brief transitions

4. Invariant sequence

--> central properties of piagets stage theory


Sensorimotor stage

Infants intelligence is expressed through their sensory + motor abilities, which they use to perceive the world around them


Steps of the sensorimotor stage

1. Newborn reflexes

2. Simple motor habits centered around own body

3. Become increasingly interested in the world around them, but lack object permanence

ex.: repeatedly dropping toys, squeezing toy duck

4. Start searching for hidden objects
--> Object permanence, but A-not-B Error

5. Actively exploring the potential ways in which objects can be used

6. Ability to form enduring mental representations
--> Deferred imitation


Object permanence

Knowledge that objects continue to exist even when they are out of view


A - not - B Error

When reaching for and finding an object several times in one place (A), and the object is now hidden at a different place (B) and one is prevented from immediately searching for it, they tend to reach where they initially found the object (A)


Deferred Imitation

The repetition of other peoples behavior hours or days after it occurred


Pre - operational Stage

Mix of striking cognitive acquisitions + limitations

--> central characteristics:

a) symbolic representation
b) egocentrism
c) centration


Symbolic representation

The use of one object to stand for another

ex.: a playing card is used as an iPhone

--> as they develop, they rely less on self generated symbols, more on conventional ones

ex.: waring a patch over the eye when playing pirates



Perceiving the world solely from ones own point of view

--> "Model of 3 mountains" requires children to recognize that their own perspective isn't the only one possible

--> communication is one sided: talking past each other, only focus on what they themselves are saying



Focusing on a single, perceptually striking feature of an object/event to the exclusion of other relevant but less striking features

--> explains the conservation of liquid problem


Conservation concept

Merely changing the appearance or arrangement of objects does not necessarily change other key properties


Concrete operational stage

Children can reason logically about concrete objects and events

--> thinking systematically remains difficult
--> reasoning about hypothetical situations remains difficult

=> The pendulum problem


Pendulum Frame problem

Task is to perform experiments that indicate which factors influence the amount of time needed for the pendulum to swing through a complete arc