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Investigating cognitive thinking processes and the age at which they develop.

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A2 Psychology Coursework Sept 2005 Investigating cognitive thinking processes and the age at which they develop. Abstract This research was based on the work of Jean Piaget and was influenced mainly by him, the aim of the research was to assess the differences in children's cognitive development (thinking processes) at age ranges from 4-6, 7-8 and 9 and above and to find out whether they would be able to use their logic in 3 tasks originally set out by Piaget. A Lab experiment was thought best because of the ability to replicate, in this case it was a classroom in the setting (a nursery setting in Trowbridge, Wiltshire) and 12 different children of varying ages were used as opposed to the same age group or the same gender. Introduction The topic that was chosen to base this research upon is one that is featured in the A2 psychology syllabus, and is entitled Development of thinking; this fell under the main topic of cognitive development. Throughout this research, a Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget, known for his research in developmental psychology was used as a point of reference. He studied under C. G. Jung and Eugen Bleuler in Z�rich, and then in Paris at the Sorbonne. There, he worked with Alfred Binet in the administration of intelligence tests to children. ...read more.


The conservations tasks which were carried out were done by Piaget in the 1950's, therefore it was already predicted from his research that conservation of liquid would not normally be achieved until the age of 11 or 12, because conservation of volume involves the coordination of both dimensions of length and width, it presupposes that the conservation of length has already been successfully constructed and conservation of length, was predicted, would not normally be established until the age of 7 or 8. The younger the child, (those in the 4-6 category) the more likely it would be that their thinking would be non logical and therefore they would be unable to give accurate answers even when shown, however, children which falls between the ages of 7 and 9 would be more likely to give accurate answers as their thinking is more developed and they are able to use more of their acquired logic. In this research the alternative hypothesis would be that the children will be able to use their logic to answer given questions correctly according to their age (as above), the null hypothesis states that they will not (they will answer differently to what I predicted). In this research it was above 95% accurate that, based on studies by other psychologists the children will answer according to their age, therefore the null hypothesis was rejected and the alternative hypothesis accepted. ...read more.


In the conservation of number task I first made two parallel lines of sweets. One had 8 chocolate coins the other had 8 also, but slightly smaller coins. They were lined up such that they were in direct opposition to each other. They were asked if there were the same number of sweets in each line and their answer was recorded. Then, while the child watched I moved one row so that they were spaced further apart, I again asked them if there was the same number of sweets in each row their answer was recorded. Finally, the conservation of Length task, in this task I had 2 straws, each which were approximately 12 inches long, lined up, one under the other. I asked the child whether they were the same length, their answer was recorded then while they watched, I moved the second straw slightly to the right, making it protrude further than the first straw. I then asked the child which was longer and their answer was recorded. Please note that in the conservation of length and number tasks, the second row was always the one to be manipulated, keeping the first the same. Results The data that has been collected was written on record sheets that were designed to give the answers exactly as the child responded. These are shown in the appendix. ?? ?? ?? ?? - Louise Arrundale - ...read more.

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