“There are many developmental psychology textbooks on the market and it is often hard to choose between them. Key Concepts takes a very different approach and fills a particular niche very effectively… This book will be an excellent companion to any developmental textbook.”
—Vicky Lewis, The Open University
This book serves as a guide to the principal concepts currently in use in Developmental Psychology and is perfect for courses in child development or developmental psychology.
‘Concepts’ are the mental tools that help us to think about a topic; they impose meaning on an assembly of diverse facts and are thus essential to the task of categorizing, explaining, and understanding. This book not only defines but also describes and discusses each of the concepts selected in relation to its theoretical, historical, and empirical background, with the aim of informing the reader about its place in the discipline, its origins, the purpose for which it was intended, and the extent to which it has been found useful.
Arranged thematically in sections corresponding to chapter headings usually found in textbooks, this book could act as either a primary or secondary source for students wanting an accessible book to enrich their learning experience. At the same time the book will enable academics and advanced students to check their own ideas about particular concepts in order to consider how far meanings attached to these concepts are shared.
Provides an overview of the place of each concept in Developmental Psychology under three headings, namely its meaning, origins and current usage; Concepts are grouped into sections corresponding to the main themes usually covered in teaching; Relevant concepts in the book are emboldened and linked by listing at the end of each concept; Guidance is provided to further reading on each of the concepts discussed
The book is centrally important to undergraduate students who need to learn the language used by developmental psychologists in describing their studies, but also helps more advanced readers in checking their ideas regarding the nature and usage of particular concepts.
Chapter 5: Cognitive Development
Cognition refers to knowing, and cognitive development to the acquisition of knowledge in childhood. Included here are such processes as perception, remembering, classifying, understanding, reasoning, thinking, problem solving, conceptualizing, classifying and planning – in short, all those expressions of human intelligence that we use to adapt to and make sense of the world. These are all mental functions, that is, internal and therefore not directly observable, with some aspects wholly outside consciousness. Instead, psychologists infer their characteristics from the actions they give rise to, usually under controlled experimental conditions, though increasingly new neuroimaging techniques are also used to throw light on the processes ‘inside’ the mind.
Three theoretical orientations have dominated thinking about cognitive development, namely those associated with Piaget, Vygotsky and information ...