discussion

Learning Goal: I’m working on a psychology question and need guidance to help me learn.

  1. Describe three different things a person would see in a second-grade classroom designed using Jean Piaget’s approach to learning. If you were an elementary school teacher, how would you incorporate Piaget into your classroom? Use examples. the nots :
    • Piaget’s theory is a general, unifying story of how biology and experience sculpt cognitive development.
      • Piaget thought that just as our physical bodies have structures that enable us to adapt to the world, we build mental structures to adapt to the world.
      • He emphasized that children actively construct their own cognitive worlds; he sought to discover how children at different points in their development think about the world and how systematic changes in their thinking occur.
      • Schemes are actions or mental representations that organize knowledge; behavioral schemes (physical activities0 characterize infancy, and mental schemes (cognitive activities) develop in childhood.
        • a) Older children have schemes that include strategies and plans for solving problems;
        • b) By the time we reach adulthood, we have constructed an enormous number of diverse schemes.
      • Assimilation occurs when new information is incorporated into existing schemes.
      • Accommodation occurs when learners adjust their schemes to fit new information and experiences.
      • Organization is the grouping isolated behaviors and thoughts into higher-order system. Continual refinement is an inherent part of development.
      • Equilibration is a mechanism to explain how children shift from one stage of thought to the next; this occurs as children experience cognitive conflict or disequilibrium in trying to understand the world. When the conflict is resolved, equilibrium is established at a higher level of cognitive development.
      • Piaget argued that considerable movement between stages of cognitive equilibrium and disequilibrium as assimilation and accommodation work in concert to produce cognitive change.
      • Infants construct an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experiences (such as seeing and hearing) with physical, motoric actions; hence the term sensorimotor.
      • Sensorimotor development is divided into six substages
      • Object permanence
        • (a) Understanding that objects and events continue to exist, even when they cannot be seen, heard, or touched; one of the most important accomplishments.
        • (b) Progresses through six levels that parallel the six stages of sensorimotor development.
        • Many researchers conclude that Piaget wasn’t specific enough about how infants learn about their world, that infants are more competent than Piaget thought.
        • No general theory has emerged that can connect all the different findings of various research.
        • Researchers seek to answer more precisely the contributions of nature and nurture to infant development; is it best accounted for by an innate set of biases (core knowledge), or by the extensive input of environmental experiences infants are exposed to.
        • Operations are internalized sets of actions that allow the child to do mentally what before they could only do physically.
        • Operations are reversible mental actions.
        • Preoperational thought is the beginning of the ability to reconstruct in thought what has been established in behavior.
        • Preoperational stage lasts from about 2 to 7 years of age; children begin to represent the world with words, images, and drawings. Drawings may be scribbles, but they imagine them to be representative of real things and people.
        • 1. Symbolic function substage
          • (a) In the symbolic function substage, the first substage (ages 2 to 4 years), the child can mentally represent an object that is not present by using scribble designs, language, and pretend play.
          • (b) This stage is limited by egocentrism and animism.
          • (i) Egocentrism denotes the inability to distinguish between one’s own perspective and someone else’s.
          • (ii) Animism, another limitation of preoperational thought, is the belief that inanimate objects have “lifelike” qualities and are capable of action.
        • 2. Intuitive thought substage
          • (a) The intuitive substage occurs between the ages of 4 and 7 years of age.
          • (b) Features of this stage include primitive reasoning and curiosity to have many questions answered, “What if?” and by age of 5 years “why” questions.
          • (c) Children in this stage are confident about their knowledge but are unaware of how they know what they know.
          • (d) Centration and the limitations of preoperational thought, or the focusing of attention on one characteristic to the exclusion of others, is characteristic of this stage.
          • (e) Children in this stage are unable to conserve quantities; that is, awareness that altering an object’s appearance does not change its basic properties, or to reverse operations.
          • Concrete operations which are reversible mental actions on real, concrete objects.
          • Masters conservation (the idea that a quantity remains the same regardless of transformations in appearance). Not all types of quantities (number, length, liquid quantity, mass, weight, and volume), are mastered at the same time; horizontal décalage: similar abilities do not appear at the same time within a stage of development.
          • Mastering classification – classify things and to consider their relationships; (1) the interrelationships among sets and subsets; (2) seriation, and (3) transitivity.
          • Masters seriation ordering of stimuli along quantitative dimensions, such as length.
          • Transitivity involves ability to reason about and logically combine relationships.
          • Individuals move beyond concrete experiences and think in abstract and more logical ways. Adolescents develop images of ideal circumstances.
            • Adolescent are more abstract and is evident is verbal problem-solving ability.
              • Accompanying the abstract thought of adolescence is thought full of idealism and possibilities.
              • Learning to think more abstractly and idealistically, and learning to think more logically.
              • Can even think about thought
            • Adolescents can solve problems and systematically test solutions using hypothetical-deductive reasoning—develop hypotheses and best guesses, and systematically deduce or conclude to solve the problems, rather than using trial-and-error fashion as in childhood.
            • Recent evidence indicates that only about one-third of young adolescents can use formal operational thinking and there is more individual variation in formal operational thought than Piaget envisioned. Many American adults never become formal operational thinkers, and neither do many adults in other cultures.
          • Adolescent egocentrism is heightened self-consciousness of adolescents, reflected in adolescents’ beliefs that others are as interested in them as they are in themselves. Elkind believes adolescent egocentrism can be dissected into two types of social thinking:
            • Imaginary audience refers to the heightened self-consciousness of adolescents, that involves attention-getting behavior-the attempt to be noticed, visible and “onstage.”
            • Personal fable involves an adolescent’s sense of personal uniqueness and invincibility, makes them feel that no one can understand how the really feel. This sense of uniqueness and invincibility is responsible for some of the seemingly risk-taking behavior of adolescents, including drag racing, drug use, suicide, and failure to use contraceptives during sexual intercourse.
            • Some research suggests that adolescents rather perceiving themselves as invulnerable, portray themselves as vulnerable to experiencing a premature death.
            • Vygotsky, like Piaget, emphasized children actively construct their knowledge and understanding.
            • Children are more often described as social creatures than in Piaget’s theory.
            • Scaffolding refers to the process by which teachers or tutors adjust guidance to fit the child’s current performance- changing the level of support when teaching a child, adjusting guidance, giving instruction
            • Dialogue is an important tool of scaffolding; the child’s concepts become more systematic, logical, and rational concepts with the skilled helper.
            • Language and thought were given central roles in cognition by Vygotsky, who believed use of speech not only for social communication, but also to help them solve tasks. That language is used to plan, guide, and monitor behavior.
            • Assess the ZPD. Rather than using standardized tests, teachers can assess the child’s zone of proximal development; skilled helper presents the child with tasks of varying difficulty to determine best level at which to begin.
            • Use the child’s zone of proximal development in teaching. Teaching should begin toward the upper limit so that the child can reach a goal with help. Observe the child’s intentions and attempts and provide support when needed.
            • Use more-skilled peers as teachers. Children also benefit from the support and guidance of more-skilled children.
            • Monitor and encourage use of private speech. Since speech changes from eternal “talk” to oneself in the preschool years to private speech in the elementary years, educators who use Vygotsky’s theory are likely to monitor children’s speech and assess the ZPD (not IQ).
            • Place instruction in a meaningful context by using real-world applications.
            • Transform the classroom with Vygotskian ideas. ZPD is the key element of instruction; many of the learning activities take place in small groups.
            • Private speech, the use of language for self-regulation; language and thought develop independently of each other and then merge. Eventually the self-talk allows them to act without verbalizing; internalized egocentric speech forms inner speech which becomes thoughts. Thoughts are private speech.
            • Piaget stressed that self-talk is egocentric and reflected immaturity; research, however, supports Vygotsky’s theory.
            • Researchers have found that children that use private speech more when tasks are difficult, following errors, and when they are not sure how to proceed.
            • Children who use private speech are more attentive and improve their performance more than children who do not.

            second assignment :

          • Write a discussion post (between 150-300 words) that responds to the question(s) below. Use the information you learned from your text, lecturette, and lecture slides to inform and shape your posts. You may also use additional resources from outside of class. Once you have completed your discussion post, reply to at least two of your classmates posts (at least 75 words). Your initial post and your peer reply should be written with proper grammar & spellings, demonstrate thoughtful engagement with the topic, and be respectful & considerate.Prompt: Discuss the tasks psychologists perform in witness preparation. What are the pros and cons of psychologists participating in these tasks, particularly as they relate to lay witnesses? What are your thoughts on these tasks?
          • notes : The psychology of investigations is a fertile area for research and practice. It focuses on identifying features of a crime and likely characteristics of its perpetrator. The generic term profiling, as used in this chapter, is subsumed under this topic. We discuss five overlapping forms: crime scene profiling (often called criminal or offender profiling), suspect-based profiling, geographical profiling, psychological profiling, and the psychological autopsy. It is important to realize, though, that these terms are very often used interchangeably in the literature. In addition, profiling may be used in areas that do not involve criminal investigation, particularly in the case of psychological profiling and psychological autopsies. We discuss some of the reasons profiling is difficult. Chief among these is the fact that much of human behavior is not consistent across different situations. Profiling–though fascinating to the public–is an enterprise that must be approached with extreme caution, at least until research demonstrates that it has greater predictive validity. The psychology of investigations also includes research and practice in broader areas such as interrogation and the detection of deception, polygraphy, forensic hypnosis, facial recognition, and lineups. Essentially, we have included in this chapter a variety of areas in which practicing and research psychologists have much to offer law enforcement agencies in their investigations of crimes. The methods used by police in interviewing and interrogating witnesses and suspects have received considerable attention in forensic psychology. Legal psychologists have been critical of the dominant method of interrogation advocated in the United States, and many are recommending a shift to a less confrontational form of questioning in order to lessen the likelihood of coercion and false confession. Researchers also have looked carefully at the ability of anyone–including police officers–to detect deception in others. We end the chapter with a discussion of forensic hypnosis, eyewitness identification, and the construction of police lineups. Hypnosis is a controversial topic, and although the weight of the scientific evidence is still very much against its use, research over the past decade has begun to challenge early assumptions. One of the most consistent findings in experimental psychology is the fallibility of memory and its impact on eyewitness recollection of events. In recent years, psychologists have made significant research contributions relating to the construction and administration of police lineups. In recent years, psychologists have made significant research contributions relating to the construction and administration of police lineups, but some of that research is equivocal. Double-blind lineups–where neither the witness nor the officer conducting the lineup is aware of the identity of the suspect–are highly recommended. Some research recommendations have been incorporated into government guidelines used by law enforcement officers nationwide, but many agencies do not have written policies for conducting lineups.

          The main purpose of this chapter is to introduce the structure and process in criminal and civil courts along with some of the specific tasks performed by forensic psychologists in those settings. We review court structure, discuss basic concepts relating to criminal and civil cases, and provide illustrations of the work psychologists do at each of the major stages of the court process. Some psychologists are actively involved in trial or litigation consultation. In this capacity, they assist lawyers in tasks as varied as preparing witnesses for trial, identifying effective tactics for cross-examination, or helping to select jurors who are most likely to be sympathetic to the lawyer’s side.A major undertaking for forensic psychologists is to conduct risk assessments–more specifically violence risk assessments–which are then communicated to representatives of the legal system. Although these assessments are loosely called predictions of dangerousness, most psychologists emphasize that they cannot truly predict human behavior. They can, however, offer probabilities that certain behavior will occur.Methods to assess risk have developed rapidly over the past 30 years. Whereas the use of unstructured clinical judgment was common in the past, this was replaced by the development of risk assessment instruments that were actuarial or statistically based. Actuarial instruments identify risk factors (e.g., age at onset of antisocial behavior) that clinicians take into account in deciding on the probability that a given individual will engage in violent behavior in the future.Actuarial assessments were almost universally viewed in the research literature as superior to unstructured clinical judgment, but they had shortcomings, as noted in the chapter. Many psychologists sought a combination of the best aspects of both actuarial and clinical assessments of risk, while avoiding the weaknesses of both.Over the past decade, instruments based on structured professional judgment were developed. These instruments provide guidelines to the clinician to incorporate risk factors while also allowing for his or her professional judgment of the individual being assessed in light of the particular circumstances of the case.Today, forensic psychologists have a range of risk assessment instruments to choose from. Forensic psychologists often serve as expert witnesses in both criminal and civil courts, not necessarily at trial but more commonly at a variety of pretrial and posttrial proceedings (e.g., a bail hearing, a sanity hearing, a sentencing hearing).It is now clear that all experts–from the physical, behavioral, and social sciences; medicine; law; and business–fall under the mantle of science identified in the Daubert case, at least in federal courts. Courts in most states also have adopted Daubert or similar standards as well. Since Daubert, many judges are scrutinizing and rejecting expert testimony more than before, although some are more likely to focus on whether the evidence will assist the trier of fact and whether it has general acceptance in the scientific community. The present chapter also covers issues that cause some psychologists to pause before agreeing to participate in court proceedings. Some psychologists are not comfortable divulging information that in other contexts would be confidential, even though they are allowed (and sometimes required) to do so by law. Related to this is the duty to warn or to protect persons who might be harmed by a psychologist’s client. However, when psychologists are asked to conduct an evaluation, the client is often not the individual being evaluated but the court. In that case, copies of the psychologist’s report are sent to court as well as to attorneys on both sides of the case.The patient–therapist relationship is different from the relationship between the examiner and the person being evaluated. Courts have respected patient–therapist confidentiality, but even that may give way in certain situations when balanced against other interests. In many jurisdictions, for example, therapists have a duty to warn or protect when their clients have made serious physical threats against an identified third party. In some cases, general threats against unspecified others must be reported as well.Some forensic psychologists also resist being pressed for an opinion on legal matters or being subjected to grueling cross-examination by an opposing lawyer. Yet each of these is a routine occurrence in courtroom appearances. Judges often want to know the psychologist’s conclusion as to whether an individual is competent to stand trial, whether someone is insane, or who would be the better of two parents in a custody battle. Technically, these are legal issues–the “ultimate issues” to be decided by the court, not the psychologist. Although some forensic psychologists are willing to express these opinions, others find them out of their purview. Nevertheless, the trend today appears to be to offer such an opinion if requested, as long as one is ready to carefully explain the facts on which that opinion is based.

        • Review the attached lecture slides Bartol_5e_PPT_04.pptx

        This chapter reviews a wide variety of tasks performed by forensic psychologists in their interaction with criminal courts. The available research suggests that the dominant tasks revolve around the various competencies that criminal defendants must possess to participate in criminal proceedings. There appears to be no consensus about how competency evaluations should be conducted, although most guidelines and publications indicate that the traditional clinical interview by itself does not suffice. Although some psychologists administer traditional psychological tests, instruments specifically designed to measure competency are now widely available. Among the most promising are the MacCAT-CA, developed by researchers from the MacArthur Foundation, and the ECST-R, which was designed to assess malingering as well as competency.The results of the competency evaluation appear to have a significant effect on a judge’s decision, with judges almost always agreeing with recommendations offered by the examiner. Psychologists also conduct sanity evaluations, more formally known as assessments of criminal responsibility or mental state at the time of the offense. These evaluations are far more complex than most evaluations of adjudicative competence–but there are exceptions. The assessment of criminal responsibility requires the collection of a large amount of background data, interviews with the defendant, and contacts with other individuals who may be able to provide insight into the defendant’s state of mind when the crime was committed.The Rogers Criminal Responsibility Scale (R-CRAS) and the Mental State at the Time of the Offense Screening Evaluation (MSE) are the dominant instruments available for this purpose, though research suggests they are less likely to be used than are competency assessment instruments.The decision as to whether a defendant was sane at the time of the offense–and therefore can be held responsible–may be made by a judge or a jury, applying a variety of rules adopted by states and under federal law. Over the last quarter century, both states and the federal government have made it increasingly difficult for defendants to mount a successful insanity defense, such as by narrowing the rules or placing the burden on the defendant to prove his or her insanity by clear and convincing evidence.A controversial topic relating to both competency and insanity is the administration of psychoactive medication against an individual’s will. Medicated defendants may suffer a variety of side effects, some of which may interfere with their capacity to participate in the trial process. The U.S. Supreme Court has indicated that extreme care must be taken before medicating defendants against their will to restore them to competency. The Court has ruled, though, that defendants have a right not to be medicated during their trials if they are pleading not guilty by reason of insanity and want jurors to see them in their natural, nonmedicated state.Psychologists also consult with criminal courts as judges are preparing to sentence an offender. These sentencing evaluations are conducted primarily to determine whether the offender would be a good candidate for a particular rehabilitative approach, such as substance abuse treatment or a violent offender program.Sentencing evaluations also may involve assessments of risk, however, because courts are often interested in an appraisal of the convicted offender’s dangerousness. Risk assessment remains an imperfect enterprise, but a variety of valid instruments are available for this purpose.The chapter ends with a discussion of sexually violent predators and their indeterminate commitment to civil mental institutions. Approximately 20 states and the federal government now allow such a commitment, provided that the offender is dangerous and has a mental disorder or some mental abnormality–a very broad term that has been criticized by many scholars. Although statutes often indicate that treatment will be provided, it is widely suspected that the primary intention of these statutes is to keep sexual predators incapacitated.

      • Review the attached lecture slides Bartol_5e_PPT_05.pptx
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