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1

Information processing theories

Theories that focus on

a) the structure of the cognitive system
b) mental activities used to deploy attention + memory to solve problems

2

Task analysis

Research technique of identifying

a) goals
b) relevant info in the environment
c) potential processing strategies for a problem

3

Information processing theorists view on children's nature

Childrens cognitive growth is CONTINUOUS, in small increments that occur at different times on different tasks

--> children are ACTIVE PROBLEM SOLVERS

4

What limits childrens thinking ?

Children's thinking is limited by

a) memory capacity

b) speed of thought process

c) availability of useful strategies

d) knowledge

5

How do children surmount processing limitations ?

1. Expansion of the amount of information they can process at one time

2. Increase in speed with which they execute the thought process

3. Acquisition of new strategies + knowledge

6

Problem solving

The process of attaining a goal by using a strategy to overcome an obstacle

--> cognitive flexibility helps them pursue their goals
--> important components are

a) representation
b) planning
c) strategy choice

7

Working memory

Memory system that involves actively attending to, gathering, storing, processing information

--> it is limited by

a) its capacity (amount of info it can store)
b) length of time it can maintain information

--> capacity and speed increase greatly over course of childhood

8

Long term memory

Consists of the knowledge that people accumulate over their lifetime

--> factual/procedural/conceptual knowledge

--> can retain an unlimited amount of info for unlimited periods

9

Executive functioning

Refers to the higher order controls processes necessary to guide behavior in a constantly changing environment

--> include:

a) RESPONSE INHIBITION
--> avoiding tempting behavior/ controlling behavior in social situations

b) ENHANCED WORKING MEMORY
--> through use of strategies

c) MENTAL FLEXIBILITY
--> perspective taking

d) COGNITIVE INHIBITION
--> ability to control distracting stimuli

10

What are the key roles in the development of memory + learning ?

The improved

a) encoding
b) speed of processing
c) myelination

11

Basic processes

Refer to the simplest + most frequently used mental activities

--> including

a) recognizing
b) associating
c) recalling
d) generalizing
e) encoding

=> happens unconsciously, results of an enhancement of our memory

12

Encoding

The process of representing information in our memory that draws to our attention or is considered important

--> selective

13

Rehearsal

Repeating of information multiple times in order to remember

--> strategy to enhance memory

14

Selective attention

Process of intentionally focusing on the information that is most relevant to the current goal

--> strategy to enhance memory

(7-10 y/o)

15

Overlapping waves theory

1. At age 1, children use multiple strategies

2. With age + experience they rely increasingly on more advanced strategies

3. Development involves changes in the use of existing strategies as well as the discovery of new approaches

16

Planning

Thinking out a sequence of acts ahead of time and allocating the attention accordingly to reach a goal

--> children fail to do so because this requires to inhibit the desire to solve the problem immediately (response inhibition)

17

Sustained attention

Staying focused ( 4y/o)

--> result of the rapid growth of the frontal cortex

18

Recognition memory

Ability to tell whether a stimulus is the same as or similar to the one they have seen before

19

Recall

Remembering in the absence of perceptual support

--> requires retention of pieces of information
--> much poorer developed than recognition

20

Scripts

General description of what occurs + when it occurs in a particular situation

--> help children organize, interpret, predict repeated events

--> support children efforts of planning

21

How does attention change ?

It changes in 3 ways:

a) selectivity
--> actively aiming the attention

b) utilization activity

c) adaptivity
--> adapting to certain situations

22

The development of attention

1-2 months: Able to pay attention to 1 or 2 objects
--> need minutes to habituate

5 months: Habituate faster (only need seconds)

3-4 y/o: Better at sustaining attention

6-12 y/o: Gain in information-processing capacity
--> synaptic pruning + myelination

7-10 y/o: Selective attention

23

How do children acquire selective + adaptable attentional strategies ?

1. Production Deficiency

2. Controlled deficiency

3. Utilization Deficiency

4. Effective strategy use

24

Production deficiency

Failing to produce strategies when they could be helpful

25

Controlled deficiency

Failing to control/execute strategies effectively

26

Utilization deficiency

Executing strategies consistently, but no improvement in performance

27

Effective strategy use

Using strategies consistently + performance improvement