Talk:Cognitive development

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Should be merged with Theory of cognitive development Dreyfus 23:51, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Agreed as long as we keep the picture of the cute two year old. :) Charles (Kznf) 18:21, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

But what about Post-Piagetian schools of thoughts? "Cognitive development" should stand for all current theories, possibly including the development of the nervous systems, and the "Theory of cognitive development" for Piaget's theory only, shouldn't it? Or is there any other article where all theories could be summarized? Another Wikipedian 20:48, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

I can see how this article is just a weaker version of the article on Piagetian Theory of Cognitive Development. However, given that my textbook lists more than just Piaget's theory under cognitive development I think that instead of merging, this article should be improved. Why do I cite my textbook? I tend to believe that if the field itself feels that a heading is more general than Wiki currently shows it to be, it's the Wiki that needs correcting. --Some Psyc Major 13:53, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

I did some groundwork to try and make this into a respectable article. Hopefully others can expand. (talk) 23:16, 11 March 2009 (UTC

This discussion is fairly old, but I'm hoping to get some attention to this article soon. I disagree with the merge proposal on the grounds that this article should address theories of cognitive development in overview rather than focusing solely on Piaget (since there's a stand-alone article for that). As Some Psyc Major noted above, there are many theories of cognitive development and all deserve to be addressed under WP:NPOV. MyNameWasTaken (talk) 21:44, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

In Desperate Need[edit]

This is a truly sad article. We need more developmentalists to work on it.--Agyoung2 (talk) 03:32, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

It would be interesting to add how the quality or quantity of parents or affection effects cognitive development on young children. CCariaga09 (talk) 01:59, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Evaluation for Psych 101[edit]

This article needs more than 3 sources. Whorf's hypothesis needs more information then just one line, it needs to be described more. As well as Quine's bootstrapping hypothesis. — Preceding signed comment added by Bbucks (talkcontribs) 19:51, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree that Whorf's hypothesis needs more information. It does not give enough basic information for the reader to understand the fundamental basis. I think that instead of just Quine's bootstrapping hypothesis, other key bootstrapping mechanisms should be noted. CCariaga09 (talk) 01:55, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


From the "Concepts" section down to references it needs work to somehow get multiple sections to be cited by the same source without the source repeating multiple times as can be seen in the "References" section. Also somehow the page number needs to be added as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposed revision to Piaget's Sensorimotor Stage[edit]

Proposed revision to Piaget's Sensorimotor Stage

Sensorimotor Stage:

According to Piaget, the sensorimotor stage starts at birth, and it lasts until 2 years of age. During this stage children’s intelligence is limited to their own actions (Bjorklund, 2012). Children use sensorimotor schemas in infancy. Schemas are knowledge structures in which children represent knowledge (Piaget, 2000). There are six substages to the sensorimotor stage:

1. Basic Reflexes Stage The first substage is the basic reflexes stage (from birth to 1 month), in which infants use their reflexes that they were born with to interpret their experiences (Bjorklund, 2012). These reflexes include sucking, grasping, eye movements, etc.

2. Primary Circular Reactions Stage The second substage is the primary circular reactions stage (from 1 to 4 months) in which the infant starts to do repetitive actions that are based on reflexes, such as voluntarily sucking on their thumb (Bjorklund, 2012). The infant may have randomly sucked on their thumb once and then wanted to recreate the experience and eventually would be able to suck their thumb whenever they pleased.

3. Secondary Circular Reactions Stage The third substage is the secondary circular reactions stage (from 4 to 8 months) in which the infant requires their first adaption of new behaviors. A major difference between primary and secondary circular reactions is that the interesting events are based on reflexes in the primary, and in the secondary the interesting events are found in the external world, such as objects and other people (Bjorklund, 2012). For example, if an infant while throwing a tantrum and waving their arms and legs around hits a toy ball nearby and causes it to roll away across the room then they will become fascinated with the ball rolling away and they will learn to do it again and learn to make the ball roll.

4. Coordination of the Secondary Circular Reactions Stage The fourth substage is the coordination of the secondary circular reactions (from 8-12 months) in which the infant first begins to have goal-directed behavior. Piaget suggested that one of the most simplest coordinations is the infant moving an obstacle out of the way so that it could retrieve a visible object (Bjorklund, 2012). The infant wanted an object but something was in the way, so the infant moved what was in the way so they could get to the object that they wanted.

5. Tertiary Circular Reactions Stage The fifth substage is the tertiary circular reactions (from 12-18 months) in which the infant can make subtle alterations in their existing schemes that are directly related to solving a problem. An infant in this stage can solve problems using trial-and-error processes. According to Piaget, the infants intelligence is still limited to physical actions on objects in this stage (Bjorklund, 2012).

6. Invention of New Means Through Mental Combinations The sixth substage is the Invention of new means through mental combinations (from 18-24 months) in which the infant shows their first sign on mental representation (Bjorklund, 2012). Mental representation is being able to think about objects without directly acting on them. Also, the infant developed symbolic function by this time, which is expressed by language, deferred imitation, gestures, symbolic play, and mental imagery. The milestone for the sensorimotor stage would be object permanence. A milestone is when a child undergoes a major development or change. Object permanence develops during the last substage and it is the knowledge that objects continue to exist when they are not currently in view (Russell, 1999).

SaraBarratt2 (talk) 23:54, 27 November 2012 (UTC)


Bjorklund, David F. (2012). Children’s thinking Cognitive Development and Individual Differences. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.

Piaget, J. (2000). Piaget's theory. In K. Lee (Ed.) , Childhood cognitive development: The essential readings (pp. 33-47). Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

Russell, J. (1999). Cognitive development as an executive process—in part: A homeopathic dose of Piaget. Developmental Science, 2(3), 247-295. doi:10.1111/1467-7687.00072 — Preceding unsigned comment added by SaraBarratt2 (talkcontribs) 23:52, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi Sara! I hope (and assume) that you will do the references in the Wikipedia way, with <ref></ref> tags. Also, if you use books, you should preferably mention page number. As for upper cases, in Wikipedia we use sentence style for headings, for instance: Invention of new means through mental combinations.
As for the content,
  • I think the sentence "During this stage children’s intelligence is limited to their own actions" might not be clear for readers.
  • Could you give a clearer definition of schema?
  • I see that you have a source, but still - "infants use their reflexes that they were born with to interpret their experiences". Are you sure this is what your source says?? One of the reflexes you mention is sucking. So infants use sucking to interpret their experiences. In what way would sucking help infants to interpret experiences?
  • in the secondary circular reactions stage, "the infant requires their first adaption of new behaviors". What do you mean, requires?
  • Could you rewrite this sentence and just make it a bit more clear: "A major difference between primary and secondary circular reactions is that the interesting events are based on reflexes in the primary, and in the secondary the interesting events are found in the external world, such as objects and other people"
  • "most simplest" is double superlative
  • In the 6th stage, you need to explain what symbolic function means.
  • The whole text is a bit wordy. For example: "5. Tertiary Circular Reactions Stage The fifth substage is the tertiary circular reactions" - you both repeat that it is number five and that it is called Tertiary Circular Reactions Stage. I would do it like this:
5. Tertiary circular reactions stage (12-18 months)
In this stage, the infant can make...
Good luck and don't be discouraged! Lova Falk talk 10:38, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Proposed Additional Information of the Zone of Proximal Development[edit]

The zone of proximal development highlights Vygotsky’s most crucial point in his theory: the interdependence of individuals and culture in cognitive development. There are two levels in the zone of proximal development. The first, the actual level of development achieved by independent problem-solving, is measured by how much the student can learn on his or her own. The second is the potential level of development. This is to be measured dually by the student and teacher. When learning a topic, it is important for the teacher to keep the information within the students’ capability range. Vygotsky's theory has been applied to classrooms in the States, where a teacher guides students through academic tasks, preparing them for the following years of school. In the western hemisphere, where reading and writing are deemed important, and children are at school more than they are at home, children learn from teachers. In traditional societies, children are not separated from parents; they are with their parents most of the day. They can learn while participating in shared cultural activities. These examples exemplify how culture influences what is important and how it should be learned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jatie Kane (talkcontribs) 00:44, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Proposed revision to syntax and morphology[edit]

Existing Paragraph:

Syntax and morphology __________________________________________________________________________ As syntax began to be studied more closely in the early 20th century, in relation to language learning, it became apparent to linguists, psychologists, and philosophers that knowing a language was not merely a matter of associating words with concepts, but that a critical aspect of language involves knowledge of how to put words together—sentences are usually needed in order to communicate successfully, not just isolated words.[4] When acquiring a language, it is often found that most verbs, such as those in the English language, are irregular verbs. These verbs do not follow specific rules to form the past tense. Young children learn the past tense of verbs individually; however, when they are taught a "rule", such as adding -ed to form the past tense, they begin to exhibit overgeneralization errors (e.g. runned, hitted) as a result of learning these basic syntactical rules that do not apply to all verbs. The child then need to relearn how to apply these past tense rules to the irregular verbs they had previously done correctly.[10]


Morphology is defined as the knowledge of word formation or the structure of the word. In the english language words are not the smallest unit, the smallest units of language that still hold meaning are known as a morpheme. There are two types of morphemes, free morphemes and bound morphemes. Free morphemes can appear alone, such as “sat”,” jump”, “dog”, or “happy”. Bound morphemes can not appear alone they can only attach to a free morpheme, and change the meaning of the word. Words such as “dog” (free morpheme) can be joined with “s” (bound morpheme) becoming dogs, making the noun plural. Morphemes can make nouns plural, changing the tense of verbs, and adding suffixes and prefixes. Once a child learns how to use morphemes they use them even when it is not appropriate, such as, “I runned to the store.” At the age of 2 children learn that adding “ed” to verbs makes them plural, which is true but not with irregular verbs. The term overregularization is when you apply rules where they are not appropriate ( Bjorklund). By the age of 3 children learn how to not overregularize (Marcus, 1995; Marcus et al., 1992). John Berko created the “wug test” as a way to test children to see if they understood morphological rules (1958). In the wug test kids are shown objects with made up names. For example they could show a made up object and say this is a “wug”. The kids are now shown two “wugs” and told now there are two of them, there are two ______? If the kids understand the rules for making things plural they will say wugs.Adding to morphology is syntax which is the knowledge of sentence structure , and how words can turned into sentences (Bjorklund).

Apa Reference list

Berko,J. (1958). The child’s learning of English morphology. Word, 14, 150-177.

Bjorklund, D. (2012). Children's thinking: Cognitive development and individual differences. (5th ed., pp. 356-359). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Marcus, G.F., Pinker, S., Ullman,M., Hollander, M., Rosen, T. J., & Xu, F. (1992). Overregularization in language acquisition. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 57 (Serial No. 228). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Njcog (talkcontribs) 02:25, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Proposed addition of "Development of Aging"[edit]

“Lifespan Cognitive Development - Development of Aging” When looking at Cognitive Development, it is important to look at how an individual’s cognition develops over the entire lifetime, not just from birth to age 20. Humans have an acceleration of cognition throughout their life until they begin to age; aging is a normal human process in which the body and mind start to slow down, and cognition starts to decline. Memory functions that show age-related decline include: Speed of retrieval of episodic memories from long-term memory (LTM), working memory span and efficiency, speed of searching/retrieving the contents of memory, speed of encoding (learning), age-related general decline in accuracy/amount retained, implicit memory, priming, procedural memory, semantic knowledge, vocabulary, and flashbulb memories.

There has been some confusion about the difference between normal memory loss due to aging and Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia. Here are some of the differences:

1) In normal age-related memory loss, someone might forget part of an experience, but a person with Alzheimer’s disease will forget the whole experience. 2) In normal age-related memory loss, a person who forgets something will eventually remember the information; however, a person with Alzheimer’s won't recall the information at a later time. 3) In normal age-related memory loss, a person can usually follow instructions (verbal or written) without difficulty, but a person with Alzheimer’s disease is less and less able to follow instructions over time. 4) In normal age-related memory loss, using notes and other reminders is helpful, but people with Alzheimer’s gradually become less able to benefit from memory aids. 5) In normal age-related memory loss, people can still manage their own personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming, etc.), but those with Alzheimer’s lose the ability to engage in these kinds of tasks.

  • Mebane-Sims, Irma Alzheimer's Association (May 2009). 2009 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Alzheimer's & Dementia, Vol 5(3), 234-270. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2009.03.001
  • Schoklitsch, A., & Baumann, U. (2012). Generativity and aging: A promising future research topic?. Journal Of Aging Studies, 26, 262-272. doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2012.01.002
  • Villar, F. (2012). Successful ageing and development: The contribution of generativity in older age. Ageing & Society, 32(7), 1087-1105. doi:10.1017/S0144686X11000973

Nadiaharp29 (talk) 05:19, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

In Need of Sociocultural Theory Section- Rogoff[edit]

Rogoff’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Barbara Rogoff believes that development of individuals is significantly influenced by the learning processes and setting of ones culture [1]. Aspect such as collaboration, observational learning, opportunities for participation in activities in the culture, and roles of adults as models and guides are the focus of Rogoff’s theories [2]. Rogoff’s perspective draws largely from theories of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky [3].

Sociocultural Perspective

The sociocultural perspective of cognitive development states that children’s development is structured by their social environment [4]. This perspective focuses on the effects of the roles adults have as guides for children’s development. The way in which these effects take place is determined by the cultural context of these interactions [5]. This theory acknowledges that some aspects of development are universal while others will depend on the proverbial survival skills necessary within the individual's society [6].

Collaborative Learning

The sociocultural perspective assumes that learning is inherently social, thus growth in cognition is encouraged to take place between peers of differing levels of skills as well as the more skilled teacher [7] [8] This ties into Rogoff’s idea of apprenticeship in thinking. This is the idea that through participation of skilled individuals with novices, the less skilled individual will improve their skills. This requires active participation from both the teacher and the student [9] [10].

Expanding Vygotsky’s Theories

A cornerstone of Vygotsky’s developmental theory is called the zone of proximal development. This is defined by the gap between actual development level and their potential development level [11]. This gap is also illustrated by either the participation of a more skilled partner in the learning or problem solving process or the learning individual’s independent skill in problem solving [12]. Rogoff constructed the concept of guided participation to add to this idea. Rogoff’s term is used to describe adult-child interactions during both explicit learning opportunities and more routine, everyday activities [13]. Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development is usually applied to the explicit instruction giving activities, not everyday communications. Rogoff views the interactions in her expanded term are just as influential in shaping children’s cognitions as more structured educational experiences [14]. Within Rogoff’s idea of guided participation (focus on daily activities) are various activities that shape children’s cognition such as shared remembering, parents talking and reading to children, and children playing with more skilled partners [15]. LiviaAnn89 (talk) 05:57, 29 November 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ Rogoff, n.d.
  2. ^ Rogoff, n.d.
  3. ^ Rogoff, n.d.
  4. ^ Bjorklund, 2011
  5. ^ Bjorklund, 2011
  6. ^ Bjorklund, 2011
  7. ^ Correa-Chávez & Rogoff, 2009
  8. ^ Rogoff, Correa-Chávez, & Silva, 2011
  9. ^ Correa-Chávez & Rogoff, 2009
  10. ^ Rogoff, Correa-Chávez, & Silva, 2011
  11. ^ Bjorklund, 2011
  12. ^ Bjorklund, 2011
  13. ^ Bjorklund, 2011
  14. ^ Bjorklund, 2011
  15. ^ Bjorklund, 2011

In need of an Intellectual Development section[edit]

Intellectual Development

Intelligence can be defined as acting or thinking in ways that are goal-directed and adaptive. It includes the possession of knowledge and the ability to efficiently use that knowledge to reason about the world. People are fascinated by how humans learn and develop. There are several theories as to how we obtain intelligence and why we learn in different ways. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence, and Carroll’s Three Stratum Theory, are among a few examples of theories related to intellectual development.

Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences

For years, people believed there was only one type of intelligence; people were either intelligent or stupid. Howard Gardner did not agree with this theory. Using his background in neuropsychology, he created the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Bjorklund, 2012). The theory was first proposed in his book, Frames of Mind, written in 1983. This theory proposed the idea that there is not one type of intelligence, but multiple frames of mind. Gardner initially believed there were seven types of intelligence:

Linguistic - the ability to learn, and be sensitive to both written and spoken languages Logical-mathematical - the ability to analyze problems logically, solve mathematical problems, and investigate topics scientifically Musical - skill in performance, composition, and appreciation of music patterns Spatial - ability to recognize and manipulate problems in space Bodily-kinesthetic - using the whole or parts of the body to solve problems Interpersonal - being able to understand other peoples’ intentions, motivations, and desires and being able to work effectively with them Intrapersonal - a person’s ability to understand his or herself and to use the information effectively in regulating one's life (Furnham, 2002.)

Soon after these intelligences were established, naturalistic thinking, the ability to make distinctions in the natural world, was added to the list of intelligences. Currently, the idea of spiritual and existential intelligence is being discussed (Bjorklund, 2012). One reason Gardner believed it was so important to define these multiple intelligences was that different cultures require higher degrees of different types of intelligences to be successful in that particular society.

When a person is considered intelligent based on an IQ test, that person has high levels of linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence, not all intelligences overall. For something to be classified as an intelligence, it must have the following criteria; the potential isolation by brain damage, the existence of savants and prodigies, an identifiable core operation or set of operations, a distinctive developmental history, along with a definable set of expert end-state performances, an evolutionary history and evolutionary plausibility, support from experimental psychology tasks and from psychometric findings, and susceptibility to encoding in a system (Bjorklund, 2012). Gardner knew that most intelligence tests were just used to test “normal” people. Gardner’s theory allows all types of people, such as savants, prodigies, and people with learning disabilities, to be considered intelligent in various forms (Neisser, 1996).

Some scientists do not agree with Gardner’s theory. Morgan (1996), believes that these different intelligences as Gardner classifies them are really just cognitive styles. Another criticism found with Gardner’s theory is that the multiple intelligences are difficult to test. Without empirical research for each intelligence, this theory is hard to justify. Teachers on the other hand, support Gardner’s theory. Gardner himself responded to critics making note that psychology does not directly dictate education, “it merely helps one to understand the conditions within which education takes place” (Smith, 2008). Education extremely focused on math and english, followed by science and history. The creation of these other intelligences provides teachers of other disciplines, like music, arts, physical education, and technology a more scientific way to advocate for their program.

Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

Componential/Analytical Subtheory

The componential subtheory is Sternberg’s information-processing model of cognition (Bjorklund, 2012). Sternberg (1997) argued that intelligence has a common core of mental processes that could be used in any environmental context or culture. This may include recognizing the existence of a problem and being able to define it. This could also represent information about the problem, devise a strategy to solve the problem, determine the sufficient mental resources to solve the problem, and evaluating the solution to the problem (Bjorklund, 2012). Sternberg proposed three general types of information-processing components: (1) metacomponents, (2) performance components, and (3) knowledge-acquisition components.

Metacomponents are the processes by which by which subjects determine what components, representations, and strategies should be applied to various problems (Sternberg, 1979). Metacomponents is often associated with metacognition. Are people aware of about their progress on a task? Does a strategy need to be altered to solve a problem (Bjorklund, 2012)? It also determines the various rates of component executions and the probabilities that the various components may be applied in a given situation (Sternberg, 1979).

Performance Components execute strategies that were assembled by metacomponents and include encoding the information to be processed, retrieving information and making a mental comparison. For example, information that could be encoded is realizing that the letters l-i-o-n spell a word that is known to the individual. When retrieving the information, and individual may recall that lions live in Africa and hunt in packs. Finally, with making a mental comparison, an individual my state that a lion is like a cat in some ways (Bjorklund, 2012).

Knowledge-Acquisition components are involved in the acquisition of new knowledge. These components are also involved in selectively acting on the newly acquired information. Acquiring new knowledge could help serve to enhance the metacomponents. This leads to a greater self-awareness about the topic and may result in the increased effectiveness of the metacomponents (Bjorklund, 2012).

A person who excels in analytical intelligence will typically also do well in traditional school settings. Analytical intelligence is similar to the kind of intelligence that most modern IQ tests attempt to quantify (Tigner and Tigner, 2000). Sternberg (1996) suggested that individuals with analytical intelligence are particularly adept at problem solving and decision making. It’s believed that their ability to monitor and evaluate their own progress is useful in such tasks.

Experiential/Creative Subtheory

Experiential subtheory examines how prior knowledge influences performance on certain cognitive tasks. This subtheory is concerned with one’s ability to deal with novel information and the extent to which they can automatize certain process. Both of these skills depend highly on experience (Bjorklund, 2012).

Stimulus that is novel refers to something that differs from what is already familiar (Rheingold, 1985). People that are adept at managing a novel situation can take the task and find new ways of solving it that the majority of people would not notice (Sternberg, 1997). Similarly, newly acquired processing skills are rarely executed effortlessly (Bjorklund, 2012).

After a skill has been exercised frequently, the process could become automatized. Once a process is automatized, it can be run in parallel with the same or other processes. The problem with novelty and automation is that being skilled in one component does not ensure that you are skilled in the other (Sternberg, 1997).

According to Sternberg, experiential subtheory is sometimes referred to as creative intelligence. This term stems from Sternberg’s belief that people who are gifted in the mechanisms of this subtheory have the ability to generate new ideas to solve novel problems (Bjorklund, 2012). Synthetic giftedness is seen in creativity, intuition, and a study of the arts. People with synthetic giftedness are not often seen with the highest IQ’s because there are currently no tests that can sufficiently measure these attributes, but synthetic giftedness is useful in creating new ideas to create and solve new problems.

Sternberg also associated another one of his students, “Barbara”, to the synthetic giftedness. Barbara did not perform as well as Alice on the tests taken to get into school, but was recommended to Yale University based on her exceptional creative and intuitive skills. Barbara was later very valuable in creating new ideas for research (Sternberg, 1997).

Practical/Contextual Subtheory

Sternberg’s third subtheory of intelligence, called practical or contextual, “deals with the mental activity involved in attaining fit to context” (Sternberg, 1985). This type of intelligence is often referred to as “street smarts” (Bjorklund, 2012). As a part of this subtheory, Sternberg (2004) believes intelligence can only be assessed in terms of the real-world problems that children experience. It must be evaluated within a cultural context. People with practical intelligence may also excel in social intelligence. This correlation occurs because most real-world contexts where intelligence is useful in solving problems involve other people. The individual must be able to deal effectively with others (Bjorklund, 2012). Sternberg proposed three processes of intelligence within the contextual subtheory: (1) adaptation, (2) selection, and (3) shaping.

Adaptation occurs when one adjusts their behavior to achieve a good fit with their environment. For example, could a child recognize that their attempts at joining a playgroup are not successful and are they able to modify their behaviors in order to become included with the playgroup and make friends (Bjorklund, 2012)?

When adaptation is not possible or desirable, the individual could select an alternative environment that they could adapt well in. The process of selection is undertaken when a completely new alternate environment is found to replace the previous, unsatisfying environment to meet the individual’s goals (Sternberg, 1985). For instance, immigrants leave their lives in their homeland countries where they endure economical and social hardships and go to other countries in search of a better and less strained life.

Shaping occurs when one changes their environment to better suit one’s needs (Sternberg, 1985). This may occur if for some reason a new environment cannot be selected (Bjorklund, 2012). A teacher may invoke the new rule of raising hands to speak to ensure that the lesson is taught with least possible disruption.

The effectiveness with which an individual fits to his or her environment and contends with daily situations reflects degree of intelligence. Sternberg’s third type of giftedness, called practical giftedness, involves the ability to apply synthetic and analytic skills to everyday situations. Practically gifted people are superb in their ability to succeed in any setting (Sternberg, 1997). An example of this type of giftedness is "Celia". Celia did not have outstanding analytical or synthetic abilities, but she “was highly successful in figuring out what she needed to do in order to succeed in an academic environment. She knew what kind of research was valued, how to get articles into journals, how to impress people at job interviews, and the like” (Sternberg, 1997). Celia’s contextual intelligence allowed her to use these skills to her best advantage.

Sternberg notes that the contextual subtheory is one of cultural relativism. In other words, intellectual skills that may be critical for survival in one culture may not be as important in another. Intellectual skills within a culture may also undergo changes from generation to generation (Bjorklund, 2012).

Carroll’s Three Stratum Theory

In 1993, John Carroll proposed a three stratum theory of intelligence to describe cognitive abilities. He believed that Spearman’s theory was incomplete because it was not specific enough and generalized some cognitive abilities that should be included in their own stratum. Because of this, Carroll created his three stratum theory which included another level (Watkins, 2006). The three stratum theory of intelligence represents a combination of two previously proposed theories of cognitive abilities, the theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence (or Gf-Gc theory) associated with Catell and Horn, and John Carroll's three-stratum theory of cognitive abilities. Both Gf-Gc theory and Carroll's three-stratum theory are considered to be hierarchical theories of intelligence, in that they posit a broad cognitive ability with multiple, more specialized abilities at lower levels of the hierarchy. Because of the significant overlap in the main components of the two theories, an integrated theory has been proposed that combines elements of both theories to provide an understanding of intelligence theory, and Carroll’s three stratum theory(Floyd, 2007).

Carroll gathered hundreds of sets of correlational data for cognitive tests, both experimental and clinical, and reanalyzed the data using factor analysis. This compilation of factor analytic findings combined to form what Carroll calls the Three Stratum Theory (Carroll, 2005).

Stratum 3(General)- The third stratum which is at the top of the hierarchy includes what Carroll called “g”. “g” includes all general knowledge and cognitive abilities. Carroll believed that “g” was the most important factor when determining intelligence but it could be broken down into many different layers (Taub, 2004).

Stratum 2(Broad)- The second stratum is split into eight factors;

   1. Fluid Intelligence- This includes problem solving, understanding information, abstract thinking and making sense of things in the world. These are considered to biological intelligence which we are born with and improve on as we develop.
   2. Crystallized Intelligence- This includes random facts and skills that we attain throughout our lifetime.   
   3. General Memory and Knowledge
   4. Broad visual perception- Ability to react to a visual stimuli
   5. Broad auditory perception- Ability to react to an auditory stimuli
   6. Broad retrieval ability- Ability to retrieve information
   7. Broad cognitive speediness- The amount of time it takes to complete cognitive processes 
   8. Processing speed- The amount of time it takes to process a specific stimuli

Stratum 1(Narrow)- The first level of the three stratum theory is the narrow cognitive abilities of individuals. These are very specific tasks which are broken up into 70 different narrow cognitive abilities. These narrow abilities include more specific abilities that are under the broad level, for example reading and writing (Alfonso, 2005).

Throughout Carroll’s career, he has made significant contributions to many fields other than intelligence theory. These areas include linguistics, teaching foreign languages, educational psychology and individual differences in cognitive abilities (Bickley, 1995). For most of the 20th century, Carroll has conducted research in each of these fields, and often worked on projects that include more than one of these areas. The three stratum theory however has been Carroll’s most well known and highly renowned area of study (Carroll, 2005).


Alfonso, V. (2005). The impact of the cattell-horn-carroll theory on test development and interpretation of cognitive and academic abilities. Contemporary intellectual assessment second edition; Theories, tests and issues, Retrieved from

Bickley, P. G., Keith, T. Z., & Wolfle, L. M. (1995). The three-stratum theory of cognitive abilities: Test of the structure of intelligence across the life span. Intelligence, 20(3), 309-328. doi:10.1016/0160-2896(95)90013-6

Bjorklund, D. (2012). Children's Thinking: Cognitive Development and Individual Differences. (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. (514-528).

Carroll, J. B. (2005). The Three-Stratum Theory of Cognitive Abilities. In D. P. Flanagan, L. Harrison (Eds.) ,Contemporary Intellectual Assessment: Theories, Tests, and Issues. New York, NY US: Guilford Press. (69-76)

Floyd, R. G., Keith, T. Z., Taub, G. E., & McGrew, K. S. (2007). Cattell-Horn-Carroll cognitive abilities and their effects on reading decoding skills: g has indirect effects, more specific abilities have direct effects. School Psychology Quarterly, 22(2), 200-233. doi:10.1037/1045-3830.22.2.200

Furnham, A., Tang, T., Lester, D., O'Connor, R., & Montgomery, R. (2002). Estimates of ten multiple intelligences: Sex and national differences in the perception of oneself and famous people. European Psychologist, 7(4), 245-255. doi:10.1027//1016-9040.7.4.245

Morgan, H. (1996). An analysis of Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence. Roeper Review 18, 263-270.

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Plucker, J. A. (Ed.). (2003). Human intelligence: Historical influences, current controversies, teaching resources. 12/16/12,

Rheingold, H.L. (1985). Development as the acquisition of familiarity. Annual Review of Psychology, 36, 1-17.

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--Hask1432 (talk) 22:26, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Proposed alterations to #Whorf's hypothesis[edit]

     Hello, I was reading §3.1 (Whorf's hypothesis), and I realized that a few corrections could be made, although they each have their own sets of factors to consider before making such corrections, so I shall just confer with you all about it:

  • The words hypothesis and theory are currently treated as interchangeable here, whereas in the universally standard scientific method, the stage of the hypothesis precedes that of the theory, and lacks the years' worth of ensuing evidence for the theory compiled by scientists/mathematicians/scholars other than its inventor or discoverer. (My main concern is that the task may be too pedantic for this article's purpose, and may be just part of a whole cleanup job of this mistake throughout the article.)
  • Also, after mentioning how George Orwell's dystopian novel Animal Farm plays this "theory" out, the article states that "[t]he Whorfian hypothesis failed to recognize that people can still be aware of the concept or item, even though they lack efficient coding to quickly identify the target information." I feel it is only fair to exempt the book from this lapse in judgment: there is a section towards the end in which the horse Clover recognizes that there is something wrong with the way the oligarchy of pigs are ruling Animal Farm, but cannot place it, due to being too uneducated to know the vocabulary needed to express it concisely enough to endow the choice of words with meaning. (My main concern is whether or not this is necessary; I am bringing this up mainly to propose a preventive to the potential for fallacy of assumption, so that readers do not clump Animal Farm together with the hypothesis in the latter's errancy.)
  • Finally — and I think this is the most necessary change — the Orwell book in which words are actively removed from civilians' vocabulary is not so much Animal Farm as it is 1984 (although Animal Farm does keep the common livestock uneducated in comparison to the pigs). My main concern here is that, should the above change be decided necessary, is that (correct me if I'm wrong) 1984 has no such example of the equivalent proles' meditation on the state of the nation and the ways of the government with the capability for use of the full language restricted to them. I cannot think how this would need to be formatted, and really, to plan it out would require certainty as to what should be or should not be amended as proposed here.

I shall just go ahead and assume that "Animal Farm" should be capitalized and made a link to its article in its so-far singular appearance in the text.

Thank you,
BlueCaper (talk) 15:49, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Sections removed from article.[edit]

I just moved the two sections concepts and memory out of the article. My reasons are the following:

  • For both sections, but especially section concepts, the relationship with cognitive development is not clear enough. Concepts is mostly about - well, concepts. There are only a few lines about development of concepts.
  • The main source for both sections is from a 1978 book! So much has happened since then, it is not a good source at all! The other source is from 1998 - a bit better, but still 15 years old.

I copy the sections below, to make it easier for anybody who wishes to do something with this text... Actually, on second thought, I remove them because they mess up this talk page. They can easily be found when you use history.Lova Falk talk 13:45, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Useful sources for updating this and related articles[edit]

You may find it helpful while reading or editing articles to look at a bibliography of Intelligence Citations, posted for the use of all Wikipedians who have occasion to edit articles on human intelligence and related issues. I happen to have circulating access to a huge academic research library at a university with an active research program in these issues (and to another library that is one of the ten largest public library systems in the United States) and have been researching these issues since 1989. You are welcome to use these citations for your own research. You can help other Wikipedians by suggesting new sources through comments on that page. It will be extremely helpful for articles on human intelligence to edit them according to the Wikipedia standards for reliable sources for medicine-related articles, as it is important to get these issues as well verified as possible. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 01:02, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Section on Quine seems poor[edit]

The section on Quine seems to me to need improvement (or removal). Anyone else think so? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 25 May 2016 (UTC)


I would like to make some changes to the historical timeline of this page in order to give some context to Cognitive Development. This would mainly be a list of earlier scientist and their contribution to the stages theory of cognitive development that Piaget expanded on and labelled as Cognitive Development. I would also make some changes to the definition of Cognitive Development to reflect ongoing studies in the field. Any input or idea's on this would be appreciated! DG162704 (talk) 17:16, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

@DG162704: First of all, make sure that you refer to the topic as "cognitive development" not "Cognitive Development" per MOS:CAPS and WP:NCCAPS. Also, there should be no apostrophe in "idea's" in your final sentence. Biogeographist (talk) 19:08, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Secondly, you may want to create a separate article titled "Timeline of developmental psychologists" or something similar, and then add a link to that separate timeline in the "See also" section of this article. Make sure that you follow the guidelines in Wikipedia:Timeline. You can find good examples of timelines in Wikipedia:Featured lists; use your browser's find command to search for the word "timeline" in Wikipedia:Featured lists and you will find links to good timelines. Biogeographist (talk) 19:21, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Notice that there is a kind of mini-timeline of developmental theories in the "Theorists and theories" section of Template:Human development, which is transcluded in this article. You might consider adding to that template if you notice anything that is missing. Also take a look at developmental psychology and notice what is already covered there. Biogeographist (talk) 21:04, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for the input. I am looking at changing the Historical timeline from: "Piaget's theory of cognitive development" , to "The history and theory of cognitive development", and then adding a timeline graph that can easily be modified and updated. DG162704 (talk) 16:44, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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