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Terms in this set (128)

Preoperational stage - 2 to 7 years
Preoperational emphasizes child does not yet perform operations- internalized actions that allow child to do mentally what before they could do only physically (reversible mental actions)

Preoperational thought -beginning of the ability to reconstruct in thought what has been established in behavior

Symbolic thought goes beyond simple connections of sensory information & physical action

Stable concepts are formed, mental reasoning emerges, egocentrism is present, and magical beliefs are constructed
Creative, imaginative time
Symbolic function substage (2-4)
Begin to represent objects not present with words (pretend play), drawings
Intuitive thought substage (4-7)

The Symbolic Function Substage (First substage)

Occurring roughly, 2 to 4 years
Gain ability to mentally represent an object that is not present
This ability vastly expands the child's mental world
Inability to distinguish between one's own perspective & someone else's perspective
Piaget and Inhelder (1969) studied children's egocentrism by devising the three mountains task


Belief that inanimate objects have lifelike qualities and are capable of action
"The sidewalk made me mad; it made me fall down."

A young child who uses animism fails to distinguish the appropriate occasions for using human and nonhuman perspectives.

The Intuitive Thought Substage (2nd substage)

Approximately 4 to 7 years

Children begin to use primitive reasoning & want to know the answers to all sorts of questions

This substage is called intuitive, because young children seem so sure about their knowledge and understanding, yet are unaware of how they know what they know

Centration and the Limitations of Preoperational Thought
Centration - centering of attention on one characteristic to the exclusion of all others
Center on one aspect

Centration and the Limitations of Preoperational Thought
Conservation - awareness that altering an object's or substance's appearance does not change its basic properties

Centration and the Limitations of Preoperational Thought

Children often vary in their performance on different conservation tasks

Child might be able to conserve liquid but not number

Researchers have discovered links between children's number conservation and the brain's development

Centration and the Limitations of Preoperational Thought
Some developmentalists do not believe Piaget was entirely correct in his estimate of when children's conservation skills emerge

Rochel Gelman (1969) showed that when the child's attention to relevant aspects of the conservation task is improved, the child is more likely to conserve

Gelman suggests conservation appears earlier than Piaget thought & attention is especially important in explaining conservation

Considered a giant in field of developmental psychology

Considered founder of present field of children's cognitive development

Psychologists owe him for enduring concepts of: assimilation, accommodation, object permanence, egocentrism, conservation, and others

Careful observations of children demonstrated inventive ways to discover how they act on and adapt to their world

Children need to make their experiences fit their schemes & simultaneously adapt their schemes to experience

Cognitive change likely to occur if context is structured to allow gradual movement to next higher level

Concepts do not emerge suddenly, full-blown, but instead develop through series of partial accomplishments that lead to increasingly comprehensive understanding

Piaget's theory has not gone unchallenged

Questions raised about estimates of children's competence at different developmental levels, stages, training of children to reason at higher levels, culture and education.

Estimates of Children's Competence

Some cognitive abilities emerge earlier than Piaget thought
Cognitive abilities also can emerge later than Piaget thought or not at all
Recent theoretical revisions highlight more cognitive competencies of infants & young children and more cognitive shortcomings of adolescents & adults


Some concrete operational concepts do not appear in synchrony

Most contemporary developmentalists agree children's cognitive development is not as stage like as Piaget thought


Effects of Training
Some children who are at one cognitive stage (such as preoperational) can be trained to reason at a higher cognitive stage (such as concrete operational)


Culture and Education

Culture & education exert stronger influences on children's development

The Neo-Piagetian Approach

Argue that Piaget got some things right but that his theory needs considerable revision
Two main intelligence tests administered to children, individually, today: Stanford Binet test & Wechsler Scales
1. The Binet Tests
1904, the French Ministry of Education asked psychologist, Alfred Binet, to devise a method of identifying children who were unable to learn in school
Binet and his student, Theophile Simon, developed an intelligence test to meet this request

The Binet Tests
Binet developed the concept of mental age (MA), an individual's level of mental development relative to others
1912, William Stern created the concept of intelligence quotient (IQ), to refer to person's mental age divided by chronological age (CA), multiplied by 100
MA/CA X 100

The Binet Tests
Binet test revised many times - incorporate advances in the understanding of intelligence and intelligence testing Revisions called Stanford-Binet tests (Stanford University)

The Stanford-Binet Tests

Scores on Stanford-Binet test approximate a normal distribution
A normal distribution is symmetrical, majority of the scores falling in the middle of the possible range of scores, few scores appearing toward the extremes of the range
Current Stanford-Binet test administered individually from age 2 years - adult
Variety of items, verbal responses, & nonverbal responses

2. The Stanford-Binet Tests

The 4th ed. of Stanford-Binet published 1985
Important addition, analysis of individual's responses in 4 functions:
Verbal reasoning
Quantitative reasoning
Abstract visual reasoning
Short-term memory

The Stanford-Binet Tests

A general composite score is obtained to reflect overall intelligence
Stanford-Binet, one of the most widely used tests to assess students' intelligence

. The Wechsler Scales
Developed by psychologist David Wechsler
Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, 3rd Ed. (WPPSI-III) - children ages 2 years, 6 months - 7 years, 3 months

The Wechsler Scales

Wechsler scales provide overall IQ score & scores on subtests yield several composite indexes:
The Verbal Comprehension Index
The Working Memory Index
The Processing Speed Index

The Wechsler Scales

Subtest & composite scores determine areas in which the child is strong, weak
Intelligence tests are given on an individual basis.

3. Use and Misuse of Intelligence Tests

Intelligence tests have real-world applications as predictors of school & job success (Deary, 2012; Reynolds & Livingston, 2012)
Many factors contribute to success in school and work:
Motivation to succeed
Physical and Mental Health
Social Skills (Sternberg, 2012)
Single number provided by IQ tests can easily lead to false expectations about an individual (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 1996)

3. The Use and Misuse of Intelligence Tests
IQ scores misused & can become self-fulfilling prophecies (Weinstein, 2004)
To be effective, use IQ test score with other information about the child (Urbina, 2011):
Developmental history Medical background
Performance in school/social competencies
Family experiences
1. Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
Intelligence comes in 3 forms:

Analyze, judge, evaluate, compare, & contrast
Create, design, invent, originate, & imagine
Use, apply, implement, & put into practice

Who would do best in school?

1. Sternberg's Triarchic Theory

Few tasks are purely analytic, creative, or practical
Wisdom is linked to both practical & academic intelligence

Howard Gardner's Eight Frames of Mind - Skills:

Think in words & use language to express meaning (author, journalist, speaker)

Carry out mathematical operations (scientist, engineer, accountant)

. Howard Gardner's Eight Frames of Mind:

Think 3-dimensionally (architect, artist, sailor)

Manipulate objects & be physically adept (surgeon, craftsperson, dancer, athlete)

. Howard Gardner
Sensitivity to pitch, melody, rhythm, & tone (composer, musician, music therapist)

Understand oneself & effectively direct life (theologian, psychologist)

2. Howard Gardner
Understand & effectively interact with others (teacher, mental health professional)

Observe patterns in nature & understand natural and human-made systems
(farmer, botanist, ecologist, landscaper)

2. Howard Gardner
Recently, Gardner considering adding a 9th type to list of multiple intelligences
Existentialist(explore find meaning in life, questions about life, death, and existence)

Each form of intelligence:
Can be destroyed by a different pattern of brain damage
Involves unique cognitive skills

Howard Gardner

Savant "island of genius"; "splinter skill"
Time, New York subway system