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7. A Topical Approach to. LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT. Information Processing. John W. Santrock. Information Processing. The Information Processing Approach Attention Memory Thinking Metacognition. The Information-Processing Approach. What Is the Information-Processing Approach?.

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  1. 7 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Information Processing John W. Santrock

  2. Information Processing • The Information Processing Approach • Attention • Memory • Thinking • Metacognition

  3. The Information-Processing Approach What Is the Information-Processing Approach? • Analyzes the ways people process information about their world • Manipulate information • Monitor it • Create strategies to deal with it • Effectiveness involves attention, memory, thinking

  4. The Information-Processing Approach Computers and Human Information Processing Fig. 7.1

  5. The Information-Processing Approach Simplified Model of Information Processing Fig. 7.2

  6. Mechanism by which information gets into memory Encoding Ability to process information with little or no effort Automaticity StrategyConstruction Discovering new procedure for processing information Cognition about cognition, or “knowing about knowing” Metacognition The Information-Processing Approach Mechanisms of Change

  7. The Information-Processing Approach Comparisons With Piaget’s Theory • Piaget • Constructivist • Cognitive capabilities and limits at points in development • Development occurs abruptly in distinct stages Information Processing • Constructivist • Cognitive capabilities and limits at points in development • Individuals develop gradually increasing capacity for information-processing

  8. The Information-Processing Approach Speed of Processing Information • Assessed using reaction time tasks • Changes in speed processing • Improves dramatically through childhood and adolescence • Changes due to myelination or experience? • Decline begins in middle adulthood; continues into late adulthood

  9. The Information-Processing Approach The Relation of Age to Reaction Time Fig. 7.3

  10. Does Processing Speed Matter? • Linked with competence in thinking • For many everyday tasks, speed is unimportant • Efficient strategies can compensate for slower reaction times and speed • Processing linked to accumulated knowledge and abilities to perform

  11. What Is Attention? • Focusing of mental resources • Three ways attention can be allocated • Sustained attention • Selective attention • Divided attention

  12. Ability to maintain attention to selected stimulus over prolonged period; also called vigilance SustainedAttention Focusing on specific aspect of experience that is relevant while ignoring others SelectiveAttention Divided Attention Concentrating on more than one activity at a time Attention Types of Attention

  13. Attention Infancy • Newborns can detect contours and fixate • 4-month-olds have selective attention • Processes closely linked to attention • Habituation: decreased responsiveness to stimulus after repeated presentations • Dishabituation:recovery of a habituated response after change in stimulation

  14. Attention Infancy • Joint attention:individuals focus on same object or event and requires • Ability to track another’s behavior • One person directing another’s attention • Reciprocal interaction • Begins in 7-to-8 month old infants

  15. Attention Childhood and Adolescence • Most research on selective attention • Control over attention shows changes • Preschooler attends to external salient stimuli • Child of 6 to 7 attentive to relevant information • Ability to shift attention increases with age; allows for more complex task involvement

  16. Attention Adulthood • Older adults may not be able to focus on relevant information as effectively as younger adults • Less adept at selective attention • Older adults (50-80) performed worse in the divided attention condition than two younger groups; affected by vision and environmental distractions

  17. Memory What Is Memory? • Retention of information over time • Allows humans to span time in reflection over life’s activities • Memory has imperfections

  18. Memory Processes of Memory Fig. 7.5

  19. Memory Constructing Memories • Schema theory • Many reasons why memories are inaccurate • People construct and reconstruct memories; mold to fit information already existing in mind • Schemas: mental frameworks that organize concepts and information; affects encoding and retrieval

  20. Memory False Memories • New information such as questions or suggestions can alter memories • Concerns about • Implanting false memories in eyewitnesses • Accuracy of eyewitness testimonies at trials • Culture and gender linked to memory

  21. Memory Infancy • First Memories • Rovee-Collier infant memory experiments • Implicit memory: memory without conscious recollection; skills and routine done automatically • Explicit memory: conscious memory of facts and experiences; doesn’t appear until after 6 months

  22. Memory Infancy • Infantile Amnesia • Adults recall little or none of first three years • Also called childhood amnesia • Due to immaturity of prefrontal lobes in brain; play important role in memory of events

  23. Memory Childhood Memory • Considerable improvement after infancy • Short-term memory—memory span for up to 15 to 30 seconds without rehearsal • Working memory— kind of mental workbench for manipulating and assembling information • Make decisions, solve problems • Comprehend written and spoken language

  24. Memory Childhood Memory • Long-term memory — relatively permanent and unlimited type of memory • Children as eyewitnesses • Age differences in susceptibility • Individual differences in susceptibility • Interviewing techniques can cause distortions; determines if child’s testimony is accurate

  25. Memory Working Memory Model Fig. 7.9

  26. Memory Long-Term Memory Strategies • Activities to improveinformation processing • Rehearsal— repetition better for short-term • Organizing— making information relevant • Imagery — creating mental images • Elaboration— engaging in more extensive processing of information

  27. Memory Imagery and Memory of Verbal Information Fig. 7.10

  28. Memory Fuzzy Trace Theory • Memory best understood by considering two types of memory • Verbatim memory trace: precise details • Gist: central idea of information • Knowledge • Influences what people notice and how they organize, represent, interpret information

  29. Memory Working Memory and Processing Speed • Working memory performance peaked at 45 years of age; declined at 57 years of age • Decline affected both new and old information • Working memory linked to • Reading and math achievement • Processing speed

  30. Memory Explicit and Implicit Memory • Part of long-term memory systems • Explicit memory: conscious or declarative memory • Episodic memory—retention of information about where and when of life’s happenings • Semantic memory—one’s knowledge about world including field of expertise • Implicit memory: routine skills and procedures

  31. Memory Aging and Explicit Memory • Younger adults have better episodic memory than older adults • Older adults remember older events better than more recent events; take longer to retrieve semantic information • Accuracy fades with the aging of a memory • Less adversely affected by aging than explicit memory

  32. Memory Memory for Spanish as a Function of Age Since Spanish Was Learned Fig. 7.13

  33. Memory Source Memory • Ability to remember where something was learned • Contexts of • Physical setting • Emotional setting • Identity of speaker • Failures increase with age in adult years; relevancy of information affects ability

  34. Memory Prospective Memory • Remembering to do something in the future • Age-related declines depend on task • Time-based tasks decline more • Event-based tasks show less decline

  35. Memory Influences on the Memory of Older Adults • Physiological and psychological factors • Health • Beliefs, expectations, and feelings • Education, memory tasks, assessment • Training and mneumonics improve memory • Method of loci: storing mental images • Chunking: put into manageable units

  36. Memory Memory, Age, and Time of Day Tested (A.M. or P.M.) Fig. 7.12

  37. Thinking Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging • Emerged as a major discipline • Studies links between aging and cognitive functioning • Relies on MRI and PET scans • Brain changes influence cognitive functioning • Neural circuits • Increased use of both hemispheres in processing • Functioning of hippocampus • Larger neural patterns for retrieval with aging

  38. Thinking What Is Thinking? • Manipulating and transforming information in memory • Reason, reflect, evaluate ideas, solve problems, make decisions • Concepts — categories that group things • Perceptual categorization: as young as 7 mos. • Categorization increases in second year; infants differentiate more

  39. Thinking Critical Thinking • Grasping deeper meaning of ideas • Involves • Ask what, how, and why • Examine facts and determine evidence • Recognize one or more explanations exist • Compare various answers, select the best • Evaluate before accepting as truth • Speculate beyond what is known

  40. Thinking Critical Thinking • Few schools teach to students • Students recite, define, describe, state, list • Students not asked to analyze, create, rethink • Encourage by • Presenting controversial topics for discussion • Motivate students to delve deeper into issues • Teachers should refrain from giving own views

  41. Thinking Strategies for Critical Thinking • Children teach children — older help younger • Reciprocal teaching— small-group discussions • Jigsaw classroom—cross-talk sessions • Online computer consultation • Adults as role models • Create culture of learning, negotiating, sharing, and producing (active, not passive)

  42. Thinking Scientific Thinking • Aimed at identifying causal relationships • Children • emphasize causal mechanisms • more influenced by happenstance than by overall pattern • Cling to old theories regardless of evidence • Have difficulty designing experiments

  43. Thinking Scientific Thinking • Problem solving and children • Teach strategies and rules to solve problems • Teacher is model, motivate children • Use effective strategy instruction • Encourage alternative strategies and approaches • Analogical problem solving: • occurs as early as age 1

  44. Thinking Thinking in Adolescence • Critical Thinking • If fundamental skills not developed during childhood, critical-thinking skills unlikely to mature in adolescence • Decision Making • Older adolescents appear as more competent decision makers than younger adolescents • Ability does not guarantee every day usage

  45. Thinking Thinking in Adulthood • Practical problem solving, expertise improve • Expertise — extensive, highly organized knowledge and understanding of particular domain • Use It or Lose It— practice helps cognitive skills • Cognitive Training— can help some if skills are being lost • Cognitive improvement tied to physical fitness and vitality

  46. Metacognition What Is Metacognition? • Knowledge about when and where to use particular strategies • Metamemory—knowledge about memory • Theory of mind— curiosity or thoughts about how mental processes work • Changes as child ages

  47. Metacognition The Child’s Theory of Mind • Ages 2 to 3 — begin to understand • Perceptions • Desires • Emotions • Age 5 — realization of false beliefs • Middle and late childhood — mind seen as active constructor of knowledge

  48. Developmental Changes In False Belief Performance Fig. 7.16

  49. Metacognition Metamemory in Children • Limited in children • Preschoolers have • Inflated opinion of memories • Little appreciation for importance of memory cues • Understanding of memory abilities and skill in evaluating performance on memory tasks improves considerably by 11-12 years of age

  50. Metacognition Metacognition in Adolescence and Adulthood • Adolescents more likely than children to effectively manage and monitor thinking • Middle age adults have accumulated a great deal of metacognitive knowledge • Older adults tend to overestimate memory problems they experience on daily basis

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