IB Psychology Review

Terms in this set (374)

PIAGET: Theory of cognitive development (CLOA)
- theory was based off of observations of his own children and open-ended interviews.
- Piaget believes there are qualitative differences in the way of thinking of adults and children
- Key concept of his theory: schema. Each child builds their own mental representation of the world used to interpret and interact with objects, people and events. The child is an active scientist
- Children's cognitive development progresses through stages over time (stage theory)
- Stages of cognitive development:
a) Sensorimotor stage (ages 0-2 yrs): baby goes from reflexive instinctual action to constructing knowledge via coordination of sensory experiences and physical actions
b) Preoperational (2-7 yrs): Child begins showing egocentrism (difficulty seeing things from other peoples perspectives) and lack of conservation (cannot see that things remain constant in spite of change in visible appearance). Not able to use formal logic.
c) Concrete operational (7-11 yrs): Can carry out mental operations but needs to see the objects being concretely manipulated
d) Formal operational (11-15 yrs): ability to use abstract reasoning and logic, can deal with hypothetical problems and mentally manipulate things, can use deductive reasoning.
- Strengths of Piaget's theory:
~Piaget has contributed substantially to the psychological study of cognitive development
~ Piaget's work has had major influence on education and has generated a lot of research over time
~ Piaget showed that children qualitatively think differently than adults
- Weakness of Piaget's theory:
~ Piaget focused mainly on cognitive development mainly as a process located in an individual child instead of how contextual factors contribute to cognitive growth
~ Researchers, including Vygotsky, have questioned the timing of Piaget's stages
~ His method has been criticized because of the small and non representative sample, lack of scientific rigour and asking questions that are too complex for children
Potential effects of Trauma: PTSD
- PTSD could potentially interfere with normal development and if untreated can cause emotional numbness, avoidant behavior or hyper-vigilance.
- Carion et al. (2009): performed fMRI scans and found that children suffering from PTSD after experiencing extreme stressors, such as abuse, performed worse on a simple verbal memory test and showed less hippocampal activity compared to a control group. Those who performed worst on the test typically had difficulties remembering the trauma, felt cut off from others and showed lack of emotion,

Potential effects of Deprivation: Cognitive impairment & Attachment Disorder
- The English and Romanian Adoptees Study: longitudinal study of 324 Romanian adoptees that entered the UK. The researchers investigated potential long-term effects of severe deprivation in childhood, as all adoptees were found in very deprived Romanian institutions. Cognitive impairment was found in 15.4% of the Romanians and only 2.3% in the UK adoptees. There was a persistent cognitive deficit at age six in the children who remained longest in the deprived Romanian institutions before being adopted. These children also had a much smaller head circumference at the time they entered the UK and this could also be observed at age six. This could suggest neural damage. As for attachment disorder, data was collected through semi-structured interviews with parents to assess the child's behavior towards the parents and other adults. There was a correlation found between the amount of time spent in the deprived institution and percentage of children who displayed attachment disorder. The majority of the children, however, did not exhibit cognitive impairment and disinhibited attachment, and those who did suffer showed a great deal of recovery over time.
The Theory of Psychosocial Development: (Erikson, 1968)
- states that the individual develops through a series of stages from birth to death. There are 8 stages of social development. In each stage there exists a conflict/battle that must be internally fought.
- The 5th stage deals with adolescence, as it is the stage of identity crisis marked by rapid growth and hormonal changes (ages 12-18)
~ These body changes can be confusing as the adolescent has to search for a new sense of continuity and question sexuality, future occupation, etc. This is called moratorium (time to experience different possibilities)
~ If the identity crisis is solved successfully, the adolescent will feel confident about his or her own identity and future.
~If the identity crisis is not solved successfully, the adolescent may join a subgroup and develop a negative or socially unacceptable identity.
- Espin et al (1990) supports Erikson's theory. The researchers performed a content analysis of 71 letters from a Latin-American girl, whose parents had been arrested, to her teacher over a period of nine years, between the ages of 13 and 22. Themes of identity appeared in the earlier letters, and increased from the ages of 13 to 18 years, but then declined. This confirms that issues of identity were prominent in this period, as predicted by Erikson.
- Rutter et al. (1976) challenged Erickson's theory. Aim was to investigate the concept of developmental crisis in a representative sample of adolescents. All adolescents on the Isle of Wight aged between 14 and 15 participated in the study. Data was collected with questionnaires and interviews from parents, teachers, and the adolescents. Only a minority (1/5) of the adolescents showed signs of crisis or conflict with parents and this was mostly related to psychiatric problems. This is not in line with predictions of the theory of psychosocial development.
- Evaluation of the theory: the theory is Western biased, the stage theory is based on the assumption that development is universal and sequential
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