This paper identifies the domain that I will address in my final research paper. Three theories that address the domain are briefly presented. The reasons for choosing this domain are given, and the expectations about the future study are provided. The paper is grounded on a review of basic literature on the topic; it does not go into the details of the field. This short inquiry is meant to serve as guidelines for future study.
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Developmental psychology focuses on the process of a child’s attaining and using various skills and abilities, such as perception, language, intelligence, motor skills, social skills, etc. In this paper, I present the domain of developmental psychology I would like to study, name some theories existing in this domain, as well as explain my reasons for selecting this area, my hopes about what I will learn, and my expectations about the field.
The domain of cognitive development
In my study, I wish to explore the domain of cognitive development. It deals with the process of a child mentally maturing and acquiring the cognitive skills of an adult. This domain studies the ways of a child’s achieving and using the skills of receiving, processing and organizing information. In particular, it includes acquiring moral views and developing measured intelligence (Oakley, 2004).
Some theories which address the domain
Several theories study children’s mental development. I would like to address the classical Jean Piaget’s theory of genetic epistemology (“experimental study of the origin of knowledge” (Shaffer & Kipp, 2014, p. 202)). As the theory was shown to have several weaknesses, I also wish to explore some of its modern advancements, that is, neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development. And, finally, I would like to focus on the interdisciplinary field of developmental cognitive neuroscience, which addresses the neurological foundations of the developing mind.
My reasons for selecting the domain
I have chosen the domain of cognitive development because I believe that being aware of how cognitive skills develop in a person can enable us to know more about the cognition itself; showing how something comes into existence and evolves is a good way to learn more about it. Besides, the research of cognitive development has a very concrete practical application: it can (and should) be used as a basis for any educational programs which involve non-adult learners.
What I hope to learn about the domain
In my study, I hope to learn how the inquiries about this field were started by Piaget and how they modernized in the light of discoveries about the human mind. I also hope to learn the ways the neurological system of a growing person gradually enables them to learn and process information in more complicated ways.
My expectations about the domain’s evolution
I expect that, in the process of my study, I will see the domain of cognitive development evolved from its beginnings, where it was based more on general research, as well as on Piaget’s observations, to its modern stage of development, which is based not only on general studies of psychology but also on ample evidence gathered through the years of the domain’s existence, as well as on data taken from other fields, such as sociology, computer science, and neuroscience.
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To sum up, I would like to say that the domain of cognitive development deals with the process of a child’s achieving skills for working with information. Some theories address the field; for instance, Piaget’s genetic epistemology and its neo-Piagetians advancements, as well as developmental cognitive neuroscience. Discoveries in this domain can enable us to know more about the human mind and are an important tool in education. In my study, I wish to learn how the starting theory of cognitive development was improved with time, and how the brain gradually enables children to perform more operations. I also expect to see how the area of cognitive development improved thanks to the influence of other scientific fields.
Oakley, L. (2004). Cognitive development. New York, NY: Routledge.
Shaffer, D., & Kipp, K. (2014). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.