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Cognitive Development Beyond Piaget

1. Violation-of-Expectation (VoE) Research

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we introduce the Violation-of-Expectation (VoE) looking time method as a research method which has revolutionised our understanding of infant cognition since the 1980s. We begin with a brief recap of Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and discuss why his reliance on search tasks to measure infant cognition may be problematic. Next, we think about some alternative measures that can be used to investigate cognitive development, focussing in particular on looking behaviour. We discuss an early study in this area by Fantz (1964) before moving on to explore the more recently developed VoE method which tests infants’ grasp of basic physical laws (e.g. solidity, gravity) by measuring how long they look at expected vs. unexpected events.

Course

In this course, Dr Richard O’Connor (University of Hull) discusses different ideas within the field of cognitive development that go beyond the work of Jean Piaget. In module one, we introduce the violation-of-expectation looking time method as a research method which has revolutionised our understanding of infant cognition since the 1980s. We then look at a classic violation-of-expectation study by Baillargeon et al. (1985) in module two, before moving on to an evaluation of this research method in module three. Module four introduces an alternative set of ideas to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development which focuses on the role of social interactions and culture. The final two modules look at the socio-cultural theory of cognitive development proposed by Piaget’s contemporary Lev Vygotsky, focusing on the distinction between ‘elementary’ and ‘higher’ mental functions in module five and key concepts such as the ‘zone of proximal development’ in module six.

Lecturer

Dr Richard O'Connor is a cognitive developmental psychologist with research interests in cognition from infancy through to adulthood.

Particular areas of interest include theory of mind, representation of objects and actions, and word learning.

Dr O'Connor joined the University of Hull in August 2016, after completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge and teaching positions at Royal Holloway and the University of Oxford.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

O'Connor, R. (2019, December 16). Cognitive Development Beyond Piaget - Violation-of-Expectation (VoE) Research [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/cognitive-development-beyond-piaget/violation-of-expectation-voe-research

MLA style

O'Connor, Richard. "Cognitive Development Beyond Piaget – Violation-of-Expectation (VoE) Research." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 16 Dec 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/cognitive-development-beyond-piaget/violation-of-expectation-voe-research

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