An overview of the two classical theories of cognitive development

March 26, From a very early point in the history of philosophy, philosophers have been asking questions about human nature and about how we develop. These questions have led to a range of theories about human development and have extended from the philosophical sphere into the realms of psychology and educational research. Along with this expansion into other areas of studies, the questions being asked are also changing.

An overview of the two classical theories of cognitive development

In the theory proposed by Andreas Demetriouwith his colleagues, all of these factors are systematically studied. The first is the level of processing potentials which involves information processing mechanisms underlying the ability to attend to, select, represent, and operate on information.

The other two of levels involve knowing processes, one oriented to the environment and another oriented to the self.

A. Social Cognitive Theory

The general model of the architecture of the developing mind integrating concepts from the theories of Demetriou and Case. Processing potentials[ edit ] Mental functioning at any moment occurs under the constraints of the processing potentials that are available at a given age.

Processing potentials are specified in terms of three dimensions: Speed of processing refers to the maximum speed at which a given mental act may be efficiently executed. It is measured in reference to the reaction time to very simple tasks, such as the time needed to recognize an object.

Control of processing involves executive functions that enable the person to keep the mind focused on a goal, protect attention of being captured by irrelevant stimuli, timely shift focus to other relevant information if required, and inhibit irrelevant or premature responses, so that a strategic plan of action can be made and sustained.

Reaction time to situations where one must choose between two or more alternatives is one measure of control of processing. Stroop effect tasks are good measures of control of processing.

Representational capacity refers to the various aspects of mental power or working memory mentioned above. Six such environment-oriented systems are described: Forming hierarchies of interrelated concepts about class relationships is an example of the domain of this system.

For instance, the general class of plants includes the classes of fruits and vegetables, which, in turn, include the classes of apples and lettuce, etc. The quantitative system deals with quantitative variations and relations in the environment.

Mathematical concepts and operations are examples of the domain of this system. The causal system deals with cause-effect relations. Operations such as trial-and-error or isolation of variable strategies that enable a person to decipher the causal relations between things or persons and ensuing causal concepts and attributions belong to this system.

The spatial system deals with orientation in space and the imaginal representation of the environment. Our mental maps of our city or the mental images of familiar persons and objects and operations on them, such as mental rotation, belong to this system.

Different types of logical relationships, such as implication if The social system deals with the understanding of social relationships and interactions. Mechanisms for monitoring non-verbal communication or skills for manipulating social interactions belong to this system. This system also includes understanding the general moral principles specifying what is acceptable and what is unacceptable in human relations.


The domain specificity of these systems implies that the mental processes differ from the one system to the other. Compare, for instance, arithmetic operations in the quantitative system with mental rotation in the spatial system. The first require the thinker to relate quantities; the other require the transformation of the orientation of an object in space.

Moreover, the different systems require different kinds of symbols to represent and operate on their objects. These differences make it difficult to equate the concepts and operations across the various systems in the mental load they impose on representational capacity, as the models above assume.

Case also recognized that concepts and executive control structures differ across domains in the semantic networks that they involve.

They suggested that Demetriou's domains may be specified in terms of Case's central conceptual structures.

An overview of the two classical theories of cognitive development

The input to this level is information arising from the functioning of processing potentials and the environment-oriented systems, for example, sensations, feelings, and conceptions caused by mental activity.

The term hypercognition was used to refer to this level and denote the effects that it exerts on the other two levels of the mind. Hypercognition involves two central functions, namely working hypercognition and long-term hypercognition. This function involves processes enabling the person to: These processes operate recursively in such a way that goals and subgoals may be renewed according to the online evaluation of the system's distance from its ultimate objective.Understanding adult development is an important step in the process of understanding how societies function.

An overview of the two classical theories of cognitive development

This lesson will focus on three theories of adult development proposed by Daniel. "The third edition of this text raises the bar. The authors have captured our field's historical and present-day understanding of the behavioral, cognitive, and sociocultural influences on reading development.

SEC 4 Page 1 of 6 7. PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT THEORIES OF WHAT IS PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: Personality development has been a major topic of interest for some of the most prominent thinkers in psychology. Classical conditioning is a reflexive or automatic type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus.

This lesson will give you an overview of the major human development theories. You will briefly examine their strengths and weaknesses and meet a few key figures from each theory. Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development suggests that children move through four different stages of mental development.

His theory focuses not only on understanding how children acquire knowledge, but .

Neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development - Wikipedia