Study of an Infant's mind


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One of the most enigmatic fields of psychological study in practice today entails the exploration of the minds of very young children and infants

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Study of an Infant's mind

  1. 1. Study of an Infant's mind
  2. 2. content/uploads/2009/09/iStock_000006850911Small.jpg Psychological study comes in many forms, but at the heart lies the study of the mind.
  3. 3. One of the most enigmatic fields of psychological study in practice today entails the exploration of the minds of very young children and infants.
  4. 4. Obtaining hard data about the experiences and perceptions of these youngest subjects of study has been quite difficult until very recently.
  5. 5. The most obvious barrier to undertaking these studies has been that of language based communication, but scientists have discovered other ways to collect empirical data on the subject.
  6. 6. This data has been used in a published study which found that in some ways, the consciousness of infants is superior to that of the average adult, specifically in the fields of empathy,imagination, and even intelligence in some cases.
  7. 7. As we grow older and engage in more experiences, we build up mental filters that serve various functions.
  8. 8. For example, when driving we train ourselves to ignore irrelevant visual data, while at the same time pay close attention to things like road signs and the movement of cars around us.
  9. 9. Infants who have just come into existence on this planet have virtually no filters, and are simply “along for the ride” to a large extent.
  10. 10. They absorb all external stimuli like a sponge, as they have not had the experience necessary to develop such filters.
  11. 11. Infants and very young children have been found to be much more observant on average than teens and adults.
  12. 12. This is best illustrated in the case of toddlers; their consciousness occupies an interesting gray area in which they have a basic set of filters, but are still very observant and open-minded.
  13. 13. Most parents have been caught off guard by a question or idea that their child has expressed at one time or another, surprised by its ability to cut straight to the heart of the issue.
  14. 14. They may see a solution to a problem that their parent had been unable to even imagine due to their acquisition of mental filters, which can inadvertently “toss out” what may be relevant information.
  15. 15. The focus of the mental filters we acquire over time is not limited strictly to observational data, but also the emotional data .
  16. 16. This is likely one of the reasons that young children are more intensely affected by the feelings of others, as well as experiences of loss such as the death of a pe
  17. 17. As we grow older we learn to disconnect ourselves in many ways from the pain of others.
  18. 18. This can indeed serve a useful purpose, preventing strong emotions from unduly influencing our actions or interfering with our ability to reason.
  19. 19. On the other hand, this increased sensitivity can enhance a young child or infant’s ability to relate to or feel sympathy for others, which can be a useful characteristic in social or family situations.
  20. 20. When we understand these differences in the way the minds of our children operate we start to see that rather than occupying a lower plane of consciousness, the mental space they live in is simply different.
  21. 21. It is no less significant, and we find that perhaps through their experiences and observations we can learn something about ourselves as well.
  22. 22. Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Sponsored By Helping Psychology is sponsored by Argosy University.