1 The mind is a complex symbol
manipulating system, much like the
computer. Information is taken in
(encoded), revised into a more effective
representation (recoded) and then
interpreted by comparing it with other pre
existing information (decoded).
2 The store model - We hold
information in 3 parts of the mental
system: sensory register, short term
memory and long term memory.
Register - A
2.2 Short term Memory - We retain
attended-to information briefly, so
we can actively 'work' on it to reach
our goals. Verbatim digit span -
The longest sequence of items a
person can repeat back correctly
(average 7 items per adult).
2.2.1 Working memory - the number of items
that can be briefly held in mind while
engaging in effort to manipulate them.
18.104.22.168 Automatic processes - So
well learned that they
require no space in working
memory and allow us to
focus on other information
2.3 Central Executive - The conscious part
of the mind that directs the flow of
information in order to manage the the
cognitive system's activities.
2.4 Long Term Memory -
knowledge base which
is unlimited. Information
stored here is
categorised by its
2.5 Improvements of
2.5.1 1) the basic capacity of its stores. Short term and working memory spans increase steadily
with age, from 2 digits at 2.5 years to 5 digits at 7 years to 7 digits in adolescence. On
working memory tasks it increases from 2 items in early childhood to 5 items in early
adulthood. Children in middle childhood and adolescence show that working memory
capacity predicts IQ test scores.
2.5.2 2) Speed of processing. Increases in working memory capacity in part reflect
gains of processing speed. This process happens rapidly and trails off at age
12, possibly due to myelination or synaptic pruning in the brain.
2.5.3 3) Executive function - Controlling attention, surprising impulses, coordinating information,
planning, organising, monitoring,redirecting thought and behaviour. During the school years
executive functioning undergoes its biggest period of development. It continues to improve in
adolescence when the prefrontal cortex obtains an adult level of synapses. Heredity and and
environment combine to impact on executive function - prenatal iron deficiencies can cause
lasting memory defects and prenatal teratogens can compromise executive functioning by
impairing attention, impulse control and memory.
3 Case's Neo-Piagetian Theory
3.1 Robbie Case accepts Piaget's stages but attributes change within
each stage and movement from one to the next to increases in
efficiency of working memory capacity.
3.1.1 Three factors contribute to cognitive change - 1) Brain development.
Myelination, synaptic growth, and pruning improve efficiency of thought.
Therefore biology places a systemwide ceiling on cognitive
development. 2) Practise with schemes and automisation - Schemes
become automatic through practise, freeing up working memory. 3)
formation of central conceptual structures - Once the scheme of a stage
becomes automatic and brain development increases processing
speed, children are able to generate networks of concepts that permit
them to think about a wide range of situations in more advanced ways.
4 Siegler's Model of Strategy Choice
4.1 Robert Siegler uses natural selection to explain cognitive change. When given
problems, children generate a variety of strategies and test the usefulness of each
one. With experience some strategies are selected and therefore others die off.
Overlapping waves pattern - For basic math facts progress moves from a single
wrong answer to a variety of strategies and finally a more advanced procedure.
4.2 Speech gesture mismatch - Hand movements suggest more
knowledge than can be comprehended by words. Children who
present these mismatches seem to be in a transitional state.
5.1 Memory strategies - Deliberate mental
operations used to increase the likelihood of
retaining information in working memory and
transferring it to the long term memory.
5.1.1 Rehearsal, Organisation and Elaboration - Rehearsal is
repeating information to yourself. It holds information in
working memory. Related items are often grouped
(organisation). Young children are not adept at this due to
control and utilisation deficiencies. Older children are also
more likely to apply several strategies at once, the more
strategies they use the better they remember. By the end of
middle childhood they start to use elaboration (creating a
shared relationship or meaning between 2 or more pieces
of information that do not share the same category).
5.2 Media multitasking - This
greatly reduces learning.
working on one tasks
activates the hippocampus
(involved in explicit memory)
and multitasking activates
subcortical areas involved in
implicit memory (shallow
learning). Frequent media
multi taskers have a difficult
time filtering out irrelevant
stimuli when they are not
5.3 Retrieving Information - We
retrieve information in 3 ways:
recognition, recall and
5.3.1 Recognition - Noticing a
stimulus that is identical or
similar to one previously
experienced. Even young
infants are good at recognition
because the material is fully
present to serve as a retrieval
cue. Recognition reaches a
near adult level during
5.3.2 Recall - Generating a
mental representation of an
absent stimulus. It appears
in the second half of the
first year. Age 2 children
can recall 2 items, at age 4
a maximum of 4 items.
Improvement in recall is
associated with language
5.3.3 Reconstruction - Recoding information while it is in the
system or being retrieved. Much of the information people
recall is therefore inaccurate.
22.214.171.124 Fuzzy Trace Theory - When we first encode information we
reconstruct it automatically, ceasing a vague fuzzy version
called a gist. It preserves essential meaning without details.
We have a bias towards gist because it require less
working memory. Verbatim and gist memories are both
available but stored separately for different uses. With age
children rely less on verbatim memory and more on gist.
5.4 Semantic memory - Our vast hierarchally
organised knowledge systems consisting of
concepts, language meanings, facts and
rules. Does not require information on when
or where the knowledge was required.
5.5 Episodic Memory - Recollections
of personally experienced events
that occurred at a specific time
and place. Semantic memory
develops earlier than episodic
memory. Not until 3-4 years do
children have effective episodic
memory systems. Semantic
knowledge also contributes to the
development of episodic memory.
5.5.1 Scripts - General descriptions
of what occurs and when it
occurs in a particular situation.
Scripts are a form of
reconstructive memory that
happen when we experience
repeated events. Specific
instances of a script are hard to
recall. Scripts prevent long term
memory from being cluttered
with unimportant information.
5.5.2 Autobiographical memory -
Representations of one-time events
that are long lasting due to their
personal meaning. For this to occur
children must have a clear self image
to be an anchor for personally
significant events 9around 2 years
old). They must also be able to
structure these events into a time
organised life story. Girls have better
autobiographical memories than boys.
5.5.3 Infantile Amnesia - Most
of us cannot remember
events before age 3.
Caused by the inability to
represent events verbally
and therefore they can't
use languages based cues
for retrieval. Also the lack
of self image - without it
children cannot construct
5.6 Eyewitness memory - Older children are better at
giving accurate detailed descriptions of past
experiences. Preschoolers are poor at source
monitoring - identifying where they got their
information from (tv or real life). Suggestibility -
Court testimonies involves repeated questioning
negatively affecting children's response consistency
and accuracy. Interventions - children should be
prepared so they understand the courtroom process
and professionals mist use unbiased open ended
questions to reduce suggestibility.
6.1 Sustained, selective and adaptable attention - During the
first year infants attend to novel eye catching events.They
also focus more on complex stimuli such as toys and
videos and show greater slowing of heart rest when
engaged (A sign of sustained attention). Sustained
attention improves further in toddlerhood when goal
directed behaviour begins to occur. More attentive
children are better developed cognitively and socially. As
sustained attention increases children are better able to
focus on relevant aspects of a situation. This selective
attention improves sharply between 6 and 10. Older
children can also adapt their attention to task
requirements by switching mental sets within a task.
6.1.1 Inhibition - The ability to
control internal and
stimuli is imperative for
selective and adaptable
attention. By controlling
inhibition fees up
working memory for the
task at hand.
6.1.2 Attentional strategies - 1) production
deficiency - Preschoolers rarely engage in
attentional strategies, i.e. they fail to produce
any strategies. 2) Control deficiency - Young
primary school children sometimes produce
strategies but not consistently. 3) Utilisation
deficiency - Later children execute strategies
consistently but their performance does not
improve. 4) Effective strategy use - By mid
primary school years children use strategies
efficiently and performance improves.
6.1.3 Planning - Thinking out a
sequence of acts ahead of
time and allocating attention
accordingly to reach a goal.
Planning places heavy
demands on working memory.
Parent child discussion
involving planning at age 4 to
9 predicted competence in
6.2 ADHD - 3 to 7% of US school aged children
have ADHD. It involves inattention, impulsivity,
and excessive motor activity resulting in
academic and social problems. Boys are
diagnosed 4 times as often as girls. They can't
stay focused on a task that requires mental effort
for more than a few minutes. They act
impulsively, ignoring social rules and lash out
with hostility when frustrated. For diagnosis the
symptoms must appear before 7 years as a
persistent problem. They score 7 to 15 points
lower on IQ tests.
6.2.1 Executive function deficiencies underlie ADHD symptoms.
ADHD runs in families and is highly heritable. These
children show abnormal brain functioning, including
reduced electrical and blood flow activity and structural
abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex. Also their brains grow
more slowly and are 3% smaller in overall volume with a
thinner cerebral cortex. Several genes that disrupt the
functioning of seratonin and dopamine have been
implicated. ADHD is also associated with environmental
factors such as prenatal teratogens (Alcohol, tobacco,
pollutants). And they are more likely to come from homes
with unhappy marriages and high stress levels.
6.2.2 ADHD treatment - Stimulant medication is the most
common treatment and is effective in 70% of
children. There are warnings that stimulants may
impair heart functioning. The most effective model
combines medication with teaching appropriate
academic and social behaviour.
7.1 Awareness and understanding
of various aspects of thought.
7.2 Metacognitive Knowledge - By age 3 children
realise that thinking happens inside their heads.
Up until 6 they pay little attention to the process
of thinking, focusing instead on the outcomes of
thought. At 10 children distinguish mental
activities on the basis of certainty of knowledge.
7.3 Knowledge of strategies -
Older children recognise that
organising is better than
rehearsing. 5th graders are
better at determining why
7.4 Cognitive self-regulation - Continually monitoring and controlling
progress towards a goal, planning and redirect unsuccessful efforts.
Better self regulatory skills predict academic success.
8.1 Reading - Emergent literacy (children's active efforts to construct literacy
knowledge through informal experience). Initially they do not differentiate
between pictures and print. Phonological awareness- reflecting on the sound
structure of spoken language, by sensitivity to changes in sound within
words, rhyming and incorrect pronunciation. Interactive reading where adults
discuss storybook contents, aids in language and literacy development. Low
SES preschoolers are read an average total of 25 hours and middle SES
children 1000 hours. Skilled readers acquire knowledge more efficiently. In
middle childhood gains in processing speed allow rapid conversion of visual
symbols into sounds. Whole language approach - From the beginning
children should be exposed to text in its complete form. Phonics approach -
Children should first be coached in phonics then be given complex reading
8.2 Mathematics - Ordinality - Order
relations between quantities, this
develops in 14-16 month olds. At age
3 children begin to count. Cardinality -
The last word in a counting sequence
is the quantity of items in a set.
Children taught by rote cannot apply
the rule to a new problem.
8.3 Scientific Reasoning - Coordinating theories with
evidence. Young children often discount casual
variables, ignore evidence conflicting with their
own beliefs and distort evidence. Improvements
are made through greater working memory
resources. It also requires metacognitive capacity
to evaluate one's objectivity.