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Chapter 3: Infancy:

Chapter 3: Infancy Module 3.2: Cognitive Development in Infancy

Looking Ahead:

Looking Ahead What are the fundamental features of Piaget’s theories of cognitive development? How do infants process information? How is infant intelligence measured? By what processes do children learn to use language? How do children influence adults’ language?

PowerPoint Presentation:

Piaget’s Approach to Cognitive Development ? ? ?

Key Elements of Piaget’s Theory:

Key Elements of Piaget’s Theory Action = Knowledge Four universal stages in fixed order Development = physical maturation and exposure to relevant experiences Schemes adapt and change

What principles underlie this cognitive growth?:

What principles underlie this cognitive growth? Accommodation

Earliest Stage of Cognitive Growth :

Earliest Stage of Cognitive Growth Sensorimotor Period Invariant order of stages Individual differences in rate Transitions include characteristics of both stages

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look Substage 1: Simple Reflexes First month of life Various various inborn reflexes At center of a baby’s physical and cognitive life Determine nature of infant’s interactions with world At the same time, some reflexes begin to accommodate the infant’s experiences

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look Substage 2: First Habits and Primary Circular Reactions 1 to 4 months of age Beginning of coordination of what were separate actions into single, integrated activities. Activities that engage baby’s interests are repeated simply for sake of continuing to experience it Circular reaction Primary circular reaction

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look Substage 3: Secondary Circular Reactions 4 to 8 months of age Child begins to act upon outside world Infants now seek to repeat enjoyable events in their environments that are produced through chance activities Secondary circular reactions

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look Substage 4: Coordination of Secondary Circular Reactions 8 months to 12 months Beginning of goal-directed behavior Several schemes are combined and coordinated to generate single act to solve problem Means to attain particular ends and skill in anticipating future circumstances due in part to object permanence

Object Permanence:

Object Permanence

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look Substage 5: Tertiary Circular Reactions 12 to 18 months Development of schemes regarding deliberate variation of actions that bring desirable consequences Carrying out miniature experiments to observe consequences

A Closer Look:

A Closer Look Substage 6: Beginnings of Thought 18 months to 2 years Capacity for mental representation or symbolic thought Mental representation Understanding causality Ability to pretend Deferred imitation

Assessing Piagetian Theory:

Assessing Piagetian Theory PROS Descriptions of child cognitive development accurate in many ways Piaget was pioneering figure in field of development Children learn by acting on environment Broad outlines of sequence of cognitive development and increasing cognitive accomplishments are generally accurate CONS Substantial disagreement over validity of theory and many of its specific predictions Stage conception questioned Connection between motor development and cognitive development exaggerated Object permanence can occur earlier under certain conditions Onset of age of imitation questioned Cultural variations not considered

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW Piaget’s theory of human cognitive development involves a succession of stages through which children progress from birth to adolescence. As infants move from one stage to another, the way they understand the world changes.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW The sensorimotor stage, from birth to about 2 years, involves a gradual progression through simple reflexes, single coordinated activities, interest in the outside world, purposeful combinations of activities, manipulation of actions to produce desired outcomes, and symbolic thought. The sensorimotor stage has six substages.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply APPLY Think of a common young children’s toy with which you are familiar. How might its use be affected by the principles of assimilation and accommodation?

PowerPoint Presentation:

Information-Processing Approaches to Child Development

What is information-processing?:

What is information-processing? Identifies the way that individuals take in, store, and use information Involves quantitative changes in ability to organize and manipulate information Increases sophistication, speed, and capacity in information processing characterizes cognitive growth Focuses on types of “mental programs” used when seeking to solve problems

What are the foundations of the IP approach?:

What are the foundations of the IP approach? Encoding—storage—retrieval

How does cognition compute?:

How does cognition compute?

PowerPoint Presentation:

What automatic processes are being engaged as you listen to this lecture? ? ? ?


Automatization Degree to which activity requires attention Helps with initial encounters with stimuli through easy and automatic information processing

What do you think?:

What do you think? Infants cannot remember.

Memory Capabilities in Infancy:

Memory Capabilities in Infancy Getting a kick out of that! Kicking research demonstrates increase with age in memory capacities

PowerPoint Presentation:

Does your family have a special story about your early childhood? ? ? ?

How long do memories last?:

How long do memories last? Researchers disagree on the age from which memories can be retrieved Early studies  i nfantile amnesia Myers  clear evidence of early memory Physical trace of a memory in brain appears to be relatively permanent Memories may not be easily, or accurately, retrieved

PowerPoint Presentation:

What role does language play in determining the way early memories are recalled? ? ? ?

So…do infants remember?:

So…do infants remember?

Individual Differences in Intelligence:

Individual Differences in Intelligence Information-Processing Approaches Infant information-processing speed may correlate most strongly with later intelligence

PowerPoint Presentation:

What is infant intelligence? ? ? ?

Do, Re, Me…..Intelligence!:

Do, Re, Me…..Intelligence! Developmental Scales Gesell: Developmental quotient Performance compared at different ages for significant variation from norms of given age Four domains: motor skills, language use, adaptive behavior, personal-social

Do, Re, Me…..Intelligence!:

Do, Re, Me…..Intelligence! Developmental Scales Bayley: Bayley Scales of Infant Development Developmental Quotient 2 to 42 months Two areas (See Table 3-7)

Are developmental scales useful?:

Are developmental scales useful? YES Provide a good snapshot of current developmental level Provide objective assessment of behavior relative to norms NO Do not provide good prediction for future development

PowerPoint Presentation:

What characterizes a “fast” baby? ? ? ?

And so…what does IP research reveal?:

And so…what does IP research reveal? Relationship between information processing efficiency and cognitive abilities Correlate moderately well with later measures of intelligence More efficient information processing during the 6 months following birth is related to higher intelligence scores between 2 and 12 years of age and other measures of cognitive competence

Assessing the IP Approach:

Assessing the IP Approach PROS Often uses more precise measures of cognitive ability Critical in providing information about infant cognition CONS Precision makes it more difficult to get overall sense of cognitive development

From Research to Practice:

From Research to Practice Taking the Einstein Out of Baby Einstein Kaiser Family Foundation Report Marketing of educational media for infants is far outpaced by research on its effectiveness Correlational studies Company reluctance to test claims

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW Information processing approaches consider quantitative changes in children’s abilities to organize and use information. Cognitive growth is regarded as the increasing sophistication of encoding, storage, and retrieval. Infants clearly have memory capabilities from a very early age, although the duration and accuracy of such memories are unresolved questions. Traditional measures of infant intelligence focus on behavioral attainments, which can help identify developmental delays or advances.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply APPLY What information from this module could you use to refute the claims of books or educational programs that promise to help parents increase their babies’ intelligence or instill advanced intellectual skills in infants? Based on valid research, what approaches would you use for intellectual development of infants?

PowerPoint Presentation:

The Roots of Language

From Sounds to Symbols:

From Sounds to Symbols Fundamentals of Language

Another Look – Comprehension Precedes Production:

Another Look – Comprehension Precedes Production

Early Sounds and Communication Prelinguistic Communication :

Early Sounds and Communication Prelinguistic Communication Babbling Universal Repetition of sounds

See what I say…:

See what I say…

What comes after “ba-ba-ba-ba”?:

What comes after “ba-ba-ba-ba”? Progression from simple to complex Exposure to speech sounds of particular language initially do not influence babbling At 6 months babbling reflects of language of culture Distinguishable from other language babbling Combinations of sounds and gestures used to communicate

First Words:

First Words Increase at rapid rate 10 to 14 months = first word 15 months = 10 words 18 months = one-word stage ends 16 to 24 months = language explosion from 50 to 400 words

First Sentences:

First Sentences First sentences created around 8 to 12 months after first words Indicate understanding of labels and relationships between these Often observations rather than demands Use order similar to adult speech with missing words Telegraphic speech ( See table 3-8 )

Other Early Language Characteristics:

Other Early Language Characteristics Underextensions Overextensions

Speaking in style and stylish speaking :

Speaking in style and stylish speaking Referential style Expressive style Can you think of an example of each?

PowerPoint Presentation:

How does proficiency in language occur? ? ? ?

Origins of Language Development:

Origins of Language Development Learning Theory Approaches: Language as a Learned Skill Language acquisition follows the basic laws of reinforcement and conditioning Through the process of shaping , language becomes more and more similar to adult speech

Counter-Arguments to Learning Theory Approach:

Counter-Arguments to Learning Theory Approach Does not adequately explain how children readily learn rules of language Does not account for how children move beyond specific heard utterances to produce novel phrases, sentences and constructions Does not explain how young children can apply linguistic rules to nonsense words

Origins of Language Development:

Origins of Language Development Nativist Approaches: Language as an Innate Skill Genetically determined, innate mechanism that directs the development of language Children are born with innate capacity to use language, which emerges, more or less automatically, due to maturation. Chomsky’s universal grammar and LAD

Assessing Chomsky’s Approach:

Assessing Chomsky’s Approach PRO Specific gene related to speech production identified Language processing in infant brain structures similar to those in adult speech processing CON Uniqueness of speech countered by primate researchers Even with genetic priming, language use still requires significant social experience to be used effectively

Origins of Language Development:

Origins of Language Development Interactionist Approaches: Language as a Social Device Specific course of language development is determined by the language to which children are exposed and reinforcement they receive for using language in particular ways Social factors are key to development

Infant-Directed Speech:

Infant-Directed Speech Style of verbal communication directed toward infants Short, simple sentences Higher pitch, increased range, varied intonation Repetition of words and restricted topics Sometimes amusing sounds that are not even words, Little formal structure, similar to telegraphic speech

Let’s Pretend:

Let’s Pretend Turn to a classmate. One of you is a 8-month-old infant; the other is a parent. As the parent, ask your “infant” classmate: “Would you like a cookie?”

How does this speech change?:

How does this speech change? Infant-directed speech changes as children become older Around the end of the first year, takes on more adult-like qualities Sentences become longer and more complex, although individual words are still spoken slowly and deliberately Pitch used to focus attention on important words

Does Cootsy-Coo Work?:

Does Cootsy-Coo Work? Infant-directed speech plays an important role in infants’ acquisition of language Occurs all over the world, though there are cultural variations Preferred by newborns Babies who are exposed to a infant-directed speech early in life seem to begin to use words and exhibit other forms of linguistic competence earlier

Cultural Dimensions:

Cultural Dimensions Do people everywhere say “ba-ba-boo” to their infants?

PowerPoint Presentation:

What, then, do these similarities in infant-directed speech mean? ? ? ?

Becoming an Informed Consumer of Development:

Becoming an Informed Consumer of Development Based upon findings of developmental researchers, infant cognitive development may be promoted by: Providing infants the opportunity to explore the world Being responsive to infants on both a verbal and a nonverbal level Asking questions, listening to their responses, and providing further communication Reading to infants Keeping in mind that you don’t have to be with an infant 24 hours a day Not pushing infants and not expecting too much too soon

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW Before they speak, infants understand many adult utterances and engage in several forms of prelinguistic communication. Children typically produce their first words between 10 and 14 months, and rapidly increase their vocabularies from that point on, especially during a spurt at about 18 months.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW Learning theorists believe that basic learning processes account for language development, whereas nativists like Noam Chomsky and his followers argue that humans have an innate language capacity. The interactionists suggest that language is a consequence of both environmental and innate factors.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW In using infant-directed speech, adults shift their use of language to a higher pitch and a style of speech using short, simple sentences.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply APPLY What are some ways in which children’s linguistic development reflects their acquisition of new ways of interpreting and dealing with their world?

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