PSYA3 – Cognition anddevelopment:Cognition andDevelopment SpecDevelopment ofthinking• Theories of development: Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner• Applications of these theories to educationDevelopment ofmoralunderstanding• Theories of moral understanding (Kohlberg) and/orprosocialreasoning (Eisenberg)Development ofsocial cognition• Development of child’s sense of self (theory of mind) – Baron-Cohen• Development of children’s understanding of others, includingperspective (Selman)• Biological explanations of social cognition, including the role ofthe mirror neuron system
Definitions:Word DefinitionSchema Cluster of related facts based on previousexperiences, used to create future expectations/Ahypothetical mental construct that contains yourknowledge about a specific topic. E.g. genderAssimilation (links to equilibrium) Process of fitting new experiences intoexisting schemas without making achange (Piaget)Accommodation Adjusting/changing a schema to fit newconflicting information (otherwise adisequilibrium is created)Disequilibrium Confusion between existing schemas andnew experiencesEquilibrium A balance between existing schemas andnew experiencesTrial and error Trying something multiple times til youget it right
Word DefinitionCognitive development Development of thought processesConstructivist Knowledge is developed/built up overtimeObject permanence Whether something disappears when it ishidden, or notConservation Ability to understand concepts like mass,weight, volume, areaEgocentrism Not aware of other people’s perspectivesLaboratory experiment Studies conducted in a lab study withcontrolled variablesInvestigator bias Beliefs of the investigator skews researchDemand characteristics When ppts act differently as they predictwhat the researcher is looking for
Example:Jack knows that he can put thegreen triangle shape into thetriangle shape in his woodenshape sorter. When he is given adifferent coloured triangle shapehe can make it fit into thetriangle shape. However, whenhe is given a green square shape,he can’t fit it in the triangleshaped hole. He gets frustrated,but keeps on playing andeventually manages to fit theshape into the square hole.SchemaAssimilationCausing equilibriumDisequilibriumTrial and errorAccommodation
Problems withusing children inresearchChildren may not fullyunderstand questions(extraneous variables)Reductionist – Onlycognitive?Ethical issues: Consent– depends on age ofkidsSocial desirability bias– act in a certain wayto please researcher?If children don’tunderstand, reliabilityand validity is reducedEthical issues: Protection fromharm – being studied at such ayoung age could impact futureInterviewer bias e.g.Piaget who studies hisown kids!!Demand characteristics –less relevant with reallyyoung kids
Theories of development – Piaget:Jean Piaget (1896-1980):- Biologist (objectivemethods/tests)- Combines both nature & nurture- He believes you have to have adeveloped brain (more holistic)- Constructivist (develop thoughtsthrough construction of schemas)- Studied kiddies- Differs from Vygotsky as Piagetbelieves that DEVELOPMENTproceeds learning, whereasVygotsky believed the opposite
Sensorimotor(0-2)Sensorimotor (0-2)Lack of objectpermanence: E.g. if amum hid behind herhands, the baby wouldthink that she’s goneCircular reactions:Repeat same actionsover againUse senses to learnabout theenvironmentPre-operational(2-7)Pre-operational (2-7)Cannot do conservationtasks as they do notunderstand mass,volume, area, weightEgocentric: Not aware ofother people’sperspectivesDevelopment ofsymbolic functions:Things may looktaller/longer but theyare the same, Kids don’tunderstand thisConcreteoperational(7-11)Concrete operational (7-11)Develop logicalreasoning and begin torecognize thatquantities do notchange even if thevolume changesSo, can do conservationtasksFormaloperational(11+)Formal operational(11+)Abstractthinking, whereproblems are solvedusing the hypothetico-deductive reasoningChildren also displayidealisticthinking, where they canbegin to imagine howthings might changePiaget’s stages of cognitive development:
Refuting research for Piaget’s stage 1:Hood and Willats (1986):• Lab study• Testing object permanence in kids• Five-month-old infants shown anobject (either on left or right);their arms were held down, lightswere switched off• Kids were more likely to reach outto the side the object was shownEvaluation:• Ethical issues:- informed consent- Protection from harm Object permanencedeveloped earlier than Piagetsuggested Deterministic – individualdifferences not considered Lab study:- Objective, quantitative Lacks eco validity
Research for stage 2 – Piaget & threemountains, Hughes (1975)Piaget:Used three mountains and adoll.Researchers asked the childto say what perspectivethe doll would have whilstlooking at the mountainsThe child was only able togive their ownperspectiveHughes (1975):Claimed that if the task wasmore realisticSuch as a naughty boy dollhiding from a policemanThe children would be ableto give the perspective ofthe policeman
Research for stage 3 – Piaget:- Children under 7 were not able to understandthat volume didn’t change if the container ofliquids changed- Children above 7 were able to do this
Research for stage 4 – Piaget andInhelder (1958):- Used a pendulum problem totest whether children would beable to devise an experiment totest 3 variables of the pendulum- Their findings supported Piaget’sstage 4- Dasen (1994): Claims only athird of adults only ever reachthis stage, and even then, notduring adolescence.
Evaluation of Piaget:Objective :- Based on scientific research which isreplicable, and scientific and stuff- Piaget’s research was conducted on labstudies, therefore variables are controlled, andmore likely to be replicated- If consistent results are achieved, it could also bedeemed reliable- However, since Hood and Willatrefuted Piaget…It’s probably not that reliable.
Evaluation of Piaget:Deterministic :- Idea that behaviour is predetermined- Shown through the stages of behaviour- Refuted by Hood and Willats (1986) aschildren had found object permanence by 5months rather than 0-2 years- Links to Kohlberg
Evaluation of Piaget:Ecological validity :- Whether or not the study is applicable outside ofthe experiment- Piaget’s studies were conducted in labs, whichmay not be applicable to real life- ‘Supporting research’ such as that by Hood andWillats (1986)- It could also be argued that these lab studies mayhave provided uncomfortable places for kids…
Evaluation of Piaget:Ethical issues :- Such as informed consent/protection from harm- Studies carried out on children who may not havebeen able to give informed consent- Further evidence by Hood and Willat (1986) mayalso have not considered from protection fromharm, as 5-month old infants had their armspinned down in the dark (scary!)- However, lab studies are good, because ofobjectivity…
Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) – diedyoung:• Russian psychological• Theorist (never conductedstudies)• Social constructivist (learningfrom others through society)• Differs from Piaget who says youlearn through own experiences(trial and error)• Importance of language, culture,and social interaction
Vygotsky’s theory of proximaldevelopment:• Baby starts off being able to do simplistic tasks,such as: babbling, eating with fingers, but they’redressed by others etc• Which then become more complex as fullpotential is reached, where babbling becomestalking, and they begin to be able to use cutleryand stuff.• Pass from CURRENT ABILITY -> POTENTIAL, bypassing through the ‘zone of proximaldevelopment’
So, Vygotsky basically said…• Learning proceeds development• We learn through tasks.• If they’re too easy, we find them boring, but ifthey’re too hard, they’re frustrating.• The ZPD shows the tasks that are only JUST out ofour reach, however with encouragement andguidancefromsomeone else we can do it.• Similar to Piaget, both of them believe childrenlearn through their environment
Nunes (1992):• Vygotsky said cognitivedevelopment was supported bycontext/culture• Study involving Brazillian streetchildren (Nunes)• They had no formal schooling• Learnt numeracy skills whichwere ‘internalised’ by workingwith adults
Nunes (1992) AO2:Supports Vygotskybecause the childrenwere able to learn fromonly working withadultsStreet children, may notbe generalisableEthnocentric (Brazil)Hard to replicate due toEVs (lack of control)therefore reducedreliabilityObservationEcological validityNaturalistic
Wood and Middleton (1975):• 12 mothers,asked to teach 4 yearold children how to do a jigsaw• Teaching session was observed andrecorded• Support by mothers wascategorised into 5 groups (fromhands-on help, to verbal help)• Most successful were mothers whoadapted their guidance dependingon the needs of the child• i.e. Stepped up when needed help& backed off when they didn’t
Wood and Middleton AO2: Supports Vygotsky in thatthe mother is giving enoughguidance for the child tomove the ‘puzzle-doingability’ to move through theZPD, but continues to allowthe child to do it at it’s ownpace so it doesn’t getbored. But the mother alsodoesn’t take overcompletely, because thatwould frustrate the child. Conducted in own home(good) but mum’s may getsocial desirability bias Small sample size (thoughthe aim wasn’t to be able togeneralise) Observational – detaileddata Recorded (can watch back) Qualitative, but categoriesmake it quantitative No ethical issues (notstressful) Lab study
Evaluation of Vygotsky:Subjective:- Vygotsky was a theorist which means that hedidn’t conduct any experiments of his own- However, was because language and thoughts aredifficult to study empirically- Contrasts Piaget that had lots of research- Which means Piaget is more likely to bequantitative and reliable
Evaluation of Vygotsky:Application to real life:- His theories can be used in practical ways likein education- Could be used in classrooms, where olderstudents could teach the less-able students- It’s also good because it considers individualdifferences to an extent…
Evaluation of Vygotsky:Individual differences:- Looks at uniqueness of individuals- Looked at various cultures- Such as Nunes(1992) with his Brazillian streetchildren who learned numeracy skills- Contrasts standard classroom teaching- But increases the generalisability ofVygotskian theory
Evaluation of Vygotsky:• Supporting research - Wood and Middleton(1975):• Their study suggests that children do indeedlearn through their environment by the help oftheir mothers• This supports the idea that learning proceedsdevelopment also as children are taught how todo the puzzle by their caregivers so that they canthen internalise the behaviour and be able to doit themselves
• PIAGET SAID THATBEHAVIOUR PROCEEDSLEARNING• PBL• VYGOTSKY SAID THATLEARNING PROCEEDSBEHAVIOUR• VLB
Piaget theory to education:Maturation: Child learns through self-exploration and discovery. It’s all about theirown rate of exploration.‘Child as a scientist’
Piaget – application to education:Readiness:• Influenced how childrenwere taught• ‘Concrete’ thinking subjectsfrom 7-11, best suited forproject-work• ‘Abstract’ thinking subjects(chemistry/physics)introduced laterDiscovery learning:• Children being able toexplore themselves andmanipulate materials, suchas sand and water• (like when you’re a bubbaand you build sandcastlesand stuff)
Supporting and refuting Piaget…Plowden Report(HMSO 1967):• Seeing children asindividuals requiringdifferent attention• Teacher helps thembased on their ownabilityPiaget’s theories are alsoapplicable to errydaylifeSylva (1987):• Argued thatdiscoverylearning is notalways the bestway
Vygotsky’s theory to education:Zone of Proximal Development: The things thatwe cannot achieve on our own and we needguidance to learn it. If we have help, then wecan move things out of our ZPD as we learnthem.‘Child as an apprentice’
Vygotsky – Application to education:Scaffolding:• Language is well important• At first you imitate adults,without understanding• Then there’s self guidancewhere the child begins tounderstand and then…• Internalisation occurs, wherethe child understand• Teacher provides thescaffolding for learning, whichcan then be ‘removed’ whenthe child has learned andpassed through the ZPDPeer mentoring:• Older child works with ayounger child to assistlearning
Supporting Vygotsky – Tzuriel andShamir (2007):• In Israel, year 1 kids paired with year 3 kids• 89 in each year• Year 3 taught year 1 to use a multimediacomputer programme• It was found to benefit both children• Most beneficial when there was a mismatchbetween cognitive development
Vygotsky doesn’t consider all societies– Stigler and Perry (1990):• Looking at relevance of Vygotsky’swork to both constructivist andindividualist societies• Believed that his theory is moresuited to constructivist cultures• Stigler and Perry comparedAmerican and Asian schools• They found that Asian schools weretaught maths more effectivelyusing group work, thanindividualist American classes
Kohlberg’s theory of moraldevelopment:Participants were presented a series of moraldilemmas such as the Heinz scenario. Fromthis, Kohlberg developed his theory ofmorality.
Kohlberg - (1963, 1978):Cognitive aspectof psychologyWhat you should orshouldn’t doBehavioralaspect ofmoralityHow you respondto a moral dilemmaAffective(emotional)aspect ofmoralityFeelings of shamev.s. guilt
The Heinz Dilemma:In Europe, a woman was near death from a rare kind ofcancer. There was one drug that the doctors thoughtmight save her. It was a form of radium that a druggistin the same town had recently discovered. The drugwas expensive to make, but the druggist was chargingten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid$200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a smalldose of the drug. The sick womans husband, Heinz,went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, buthe could only get together about $ 1,000 which is halfof what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife wasdying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him paylater. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drugand Im going to make money from it." So Heinz gotdesperate and broke into the mans store to steal thedrug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that?"(Kohlberg, 1963).
Kohlberg’s theory of moraldevelopment stages:• 1. Obedience to avoid punishment• 2. Obedience to obtain rewardsPre-conventional 4-10: Childrenaccept rules, judge actions byconsequences, dependent onpunishment/rewards• 3. Seeking the approval of others (peers)• 4. Respect of authority and maintaining socialorderConventional 10-14:Conforming to social rules,maintaining current socialsystems to ensure positiverelationships• 5. Obeying the law, however individual rights candisplace laws• 6. Morality in line with universal moral principlesPost-conventional 15+:Stop following social norms,internalise beliefs, moralitybased on own interpretations ofsocieties
Supporting – Kohlberg (1968):A – Investigate how morality is developedP – 75 boys (5-17), longitudinal, USA (Also,Taiwan, Mexico and other cultures… Making itcross-sectional), used the Heinz dilemmaalong with othersF – Developed the 6 stages of moraldevelopment (pre-, conventional, post-)C – There are sequential stages of thedevelopment of morality
Evaluating Kohlberg (1968):• Cross-sectional(different people fromdifferent cultures beingcompared)• Longitudinal (lots ofresearch)• Used his own researchto produce the theory• Deterministic• Androcentric• Hypothetical moraldilemmas may not havemundane realism
A02 Androcentrism - Gilligan (1994):• Claimed it may not be generalisable to females• She used quasi-research (natural) on women &their views on abortion• 29 women (aged 15-33)• Gilligan believed… Girls = more caring,• Boys = believe more in justice (Link to ES theoryby Baron-Cohen, 2002)• Kohlberg failed to distinguish between genders,therefore validity and reliability is questionable.
AO2 Ecological validity – Moralthinking vs. Behaviour:• Kohlberg may not have ecological validitybecause he uses hypothetical moral dilemmaswhere people may think they will act differentto how they actually might.• Also, it could be affected by social desirabilitybias.
AO2 Cultural relativism – Snarey(1985):• Meta-analysis of 45 cross-cultural studies (may nothave internal validity as methods used may bedifferent)• 27 different countries• Used MJI (measurement of morality)• Found trend to SUPPORT KOHLBERG• Highest level of post-conventional were inindustrialised societies Supported by Colby et al (1983) Supported by Gibbs et al (2007) using 75 cross-culturalstudies in 23 countries
AO2 Determinism – Dunn and Brown(1994):• Deterministic sequential stages were refutedby Dunn and Brown who found that…• Children began to develop morality at 2• Using naturalistic observations Research is observational, may be moreecologically valid than Kohlberg’s hypotheticalmoral dilemmas
Key terms for social cognition:• Social cognition – How people process socialinformation, especially its encoding, storage,retrieval, and application to social situations• Biological psychology – Psychology based onbrain damage, genetics, biochemistry. It useslab studies and objective methods to conductempirical experiments to obtain results
Focussing on 3 areas:1. Self awareness - Knowing that you are separate fromother people, and have your own identity (Tested byLewis and Brook-Gunn)2. Theory of Mind – Understanding that other peoplehave different thoughts and feelings to your own. Nolonger egocentric. Develops at 4 years. Tested by falsebelief tasks. (Tested by Wimmer and Perner)3. Theory of Mind (autism) – Also says that ToMdevelops around the age of 4 (Tested by Baron-Cohen)
Self awareness (sense of self): Lewisand Brooks-Gunn ‘Rouge Test’ (1979):• Dot placed on child’s head• Younger children do not make the connection between theirreflection and themselves• After around 18 months, the child has the ability to recognisethemselves• IV = age DV = Recognition USA Lab study Overt obs.
Lewis and Brook-Gunn’s - AO2 Lab study Children less likely to beaffected by demandcharacteristics Ecological validity may belacking as it was aconducted in a laboratorystudy (their own home,yet it would be differentwhen being observed etc) Cultural relativism – somecultures may be less likelyto look in mirrors thanothers
Theory of Mind:• Theory of mind (ToM) – First thought to beginaround the age of 3 or 4. Children can usewords like ‘think’ or ‘know’ when describingsomeone else, as it is the understanding thatother people think differently to you.• AKA… Ability to intuitively comprehend thatother people have mental states(beliefs/desires/knowledge etc)
Theory of Mind - Wimmer and Perner‘False belief task’ (1983):• Used ‘maxi-doll’ and mother doll• Given a scenario to 4-5 year olds• Maxi had chocolate and put it in ablue cupboard• Mother moved it to a greencupboard when maxi leaves theroom• Maxi returns, where will he lookfor the choc?• Kids below 4 would say ‘look in thegreen cupboard’• Kids above 4 would say ‘look inblue cupboard’• Lab study, observation
Wimmer and Perner (1983) - AO2: Lab study Children less likely tohave demandcharacteristics Higher ecological validitybecause dolls are beingused, which are likeimagination games thanchildren play Children may not fullyunderstand the questionbeing asked
Theory of Mind (autism) – Baron-Cohen et al (1985):• Used typically and atypicallydeveloping children• 61 children used (varied ages, butmatched on mental capabilities)• Given story of ‘Sally and Anne’ &asked 3 questions to test their belief,reality, and memory• All answered reality and memoryquestions correctly, but the belief Q(which tested ToM) was not:86% of Down’s Syndrome children werecorrect85% of ‘normally’ developing childrenwere correct20% of autistic children were correct• Suggests people with autism maylack ToM
Baron-Cohen et al (1985) - AO2: Baron-Cohen matchedchildren on their mentalcapabilities ensuring thatresults weren’t down todifference in intelligence Parental consent wasgathered and would havebeen important foratypically developingchildren especially May not have understoodhow the question wasworded Individual differences as20% of autistic childrenpassed, but 80% ofchildren did not
Overall AO2 for Sense of self:Lab studies used - Like inLewis and Brook-Gunn’sresearch, which means highlevels of control etc…Nature vs Nurture - Lookingat nurture, and how a childdevelops throughexperience, like in Lewisand Brook-Gunn’s how thechild has to learn abouttheir sense of self etcEthical issues - Such asprotection from harm,consent & anonymity likeBaron-Cohen et al. By usingautistic children in anunfamiliar environment, itcould be distressing forthemDeterministic - Researchsuggests children develop atthe same pace
Selman – Intro:Taking other people’sperspectives is wellimportant because…Helps you to empathiseAllows you to integrate withother’s more successfullyLearn different skills
Selman’s theory of perspective taking– (1980):• Like Kohlberg, Selman used a hypothetical dilemma to help tounderstand perspective.• The dilemma goes as follows:‘Holly is an 8 year old who likes to climb trees. She is the best treeclimber in the neighbourhood. One day whilst climbing a tree shefalls off the bottom branch but does not hurt herself. Her father seesher fall and he is upset. He makes her promise not to climb any treesagain.Later that day, Holly and her friends meet Sean. His kitten is caught upa tree and cannot get down. Something has to be done right awayor the cat will fall. Holly is the only one who can climb trees wellenough to reach the kitten, but she remembers her promise to herfather’
Selman’s theory of perspective taking(1980):• Split into 5 stages• The ages overlap as Selman believes thatchildren could be at different stages ofdevelopment in the different domains ofsocial experience• Development could depend on: friendships,peer relationships, and relationships withparents
•3-6 years•Holly may generalise her views and assume her dad has the samewants as herUndifferentiatedperspective taking(UP)•5-9 years•Holly knows people have different views as they have access todifferent information, she may not understand her dad’s emotionalwants thoughSocial-informationalperspective taking(SIP)•7-12 years•See’s things from another point of view. Holly would want to avoidpunishment from her fatherSelf-reflectiveperspective taking(SRP)•10-15 years•Imagine the situation from a bystanders perspective, she may savethe cat to please her peersThird partyperspective taking(TPP)•14-adulthood•Child understands that third party can be influenced by culturalnorms and values, society may want her to save the kitten becauseit’s vulnerableSocietal perspectivetaking (SP)
Selman et al (1983):• Got girls to work insmall groups and makepuppets to then put ona puppet show• Those who scored morehighly on perspectivetaking were observed tocommunicate better aspart of a group
Selman’s theory of perspective takingAO2:Deterministic:The stages are in a set order (LIKE KOHLBERGSSTAGES OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT) however,due to the age range of the stagesoverlapping, Selman has a moral flexiblemodel than Kohlberg or any other fixed-stagemodelTherefore considering individual differencesmore…
Selman’s theory of perspective takingAO2:Individual differences/Subjective:Stages depend on the individual going throughthem, some people develop differently.The means of testing them are highly subjectivealso because it’s all based on opinion
Selman’s theory of perspective takingAO2:Ethnocentric:Different cultures have different cultural norms.So, in some places, the idea of saving a cat (inregard to Holly’s dilemma) may not be thepreferred, or perhaps parents are more strict.People from collectivist cultures (larger families)may think about this from an earlier age thanpeople from individualistic cultures.
Selman’s theory of perspective takingAO2:Historical validity:Contemporary society, such as ours which hasmobile phones, and the ability to contactpretty much anyone instantaneously couldmean that Holly’s dilemma is less appropriatethese days as arguably, she could just call herdad rather than panic and tiiiing.
Mirror neurones:• Discovered in the 1990’s• These neurones are nerve cells that reactwhen a person performs an action, but alsowhen they observe or even hear someoneperforming an action
Mirror neurons – Rizzolattiet al (1996):A – to test whether the mirror neurons fire whenobserving another organism carrying out amovementP – Tested monkeys, EEG used, lab studyF – Neurons in the MOTOR CORTEX fire both whenthe monkey carries out an action on an object,but also when the SEE, or even HEAR the actionC - Can be both auditory or visual stimuli, onlyworks if the action has an intention/carried outon an object
Rizzolattiet al (1996) – evaluation:• Supported by DiPellegrino et al (1992)• Biological/objective/replicable/reliable• Based onneuropsychology• Comparative/ethicalissues/may not begeneralisable
Mirror neurons – Lacoboniet al (2005):A – To see if mirror neurons encode for both WHAT theintention is, but also WHYP – 23 ppts shown 3 different types of movie of a teaparty in a lab study, fMRI (functional MRI) recordedneurone activity. The clips showed:1. CONTEXT – before/after tea2. ACTION – Hand grasps cup/clears cups away3. INTENTION – Combined context/actionF – Highest level of MN activity from intention clip, shownin INFERIOR FRONTAL CORTEXC – Inferior frontal cortex is concerned withunderstanding WHY a person behaves in a certain way