Unit 12: Cognitive Theory Cognitive theory emphasis how development affects cognition, or the thinking process. Naturally, this is an important aspect of learning. Cognitive theory rose in status as a rebuttal to strict behaviorism. It was noted that human development took a path such that human brains could not be subtracted from the process of learning to only focus on rewards and behaviors. Age, mood, affect and personality also interact strongly with the learning process. Cognitive theory helps us understand the internal processes of thought and behavior. The seminal theorist, Jean Piaget helped revolutionize how we think about child development by asserting that “Children are not merely small adult thinkers.”
Unit 12 Time Advisory
This unit will take approximately 5 hours to complete.
☐ Subunit 12.1: 1.5 hours
☐ Subunit 12.2: 1.5 hours
☐ Subunit 12.3: 1.5 hours
Unit12 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- List the primary domains of cognitive psychology.
- Define the primary stages of development according to Piaget.
- Explain the qualitative differences between Piaget’s four stages of human development: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete and formal operations.
- Articulate the integration of social contexts into cognitive theory, through the perspective of Lev Vygotsky.
12.1 Deprivation and Human Behavior
- Reading: Whyfiles.com’s “The Science of Mother’s Day”
Link: Whyfiles.com’s “The Science of Mother’s
Instructions: Please read the entire article. It is a review of how internal motivations affect cognitions and decision-making. It supports the perspective in cognitive theory that internal moods and affect effect outward behavior. It explores deprivation as it relates to the deprivation in early orphanages and emphases the importance of the early caregiver relationship and attachment.
12.2 Drive Reduction Theory
- Reading: Theory into Practice (TIP) Database: Greg Kearsley’s
“Drive Reduction Theory (C. Hull)”
Link: Theory into Practice (TIP) Database: Greg Kearsley’s "Drive
Reduction Theory (C. Hull)"
Instructions: Please read this entire webpage. Hull’s work was perhaps neglected in the larger scheme of behaviorism, but there are great concepts to be learned in the area of childhood education.
12.3 Applications of Cognitive Theory
- Reading: Indiana University and Purdue University, Fort Wayne: Dr.
Bruce Abbott’s “Premack's Principle versus Timberlake and Allison's
Response Deprivation Analysis”
Link: Indiana University and Purdue University, Fort Wayne: Dr.
Bruce Abbott’s "Premack’s Principle versus Timberlake and Allison’s
Instructions: This page is short but takes some careful reading. Students are encouraged to diagram some of the possible scenarios that arise from these somewhat conflicting views of what motivates learning.