Human Cognitive Development
The 2-years-old Charlie will use his senses and motor movements to play with flour while imitating what others are doing when mixing the flour in what is termed as acquiring direct knowledge of the world through trial and error learning. Owing to the fact that Charlie is completing the sensorimotor stage of cognitive development (0-2 years), it is possible that he has attained object permanence and is able to build direct knowledge through assimilation and accommodation. As such, he may be used to pass cooking equipment to others (e.g., spoons, knives, and cooking oil) as he has developed an understanding that objects exist and events occur in the world without being influenced by his own actions (Meyerhoff, 2007). The 6-years-old Penelope will help in mixing the flour as she has the capacity to pursue intentional, goal-directed behavior by virtue of being in the preoperational stage of cognitive development. However, although she has the capacity to imagine and create, she may be unable to cut the dough to equal sizes due to centration (one-dimensional thinking) and irreversibility (inability to follow a logical progression of events in one direction).
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The 9-years-old Isabelle will cut the dough into equal parts for baking the cookies since she can think logically about concrete (physical) events such as cutting the dough. Isabelle is in the concrete operational stage of cognitive development (7-11 years) as demonstrated by her capacity to use logical thinking to undertake physical events. Lastly, the 11-years-old Brian will help in the baking process as he is able to think abstractly to understand that the cookies are ready when they turn brown. Brian is in the formal operational stage of cognitive development, which is characterized by abstract thinking, the ability to solve complex and esoteric problems, the ability to employ deductive logic in reasoning, and the realization of moral and ethical issues (Meyerhoff, 2007).
Group Decision-Making Process
A meeting had been called among members of my immediate family to discuss how to take care of my ailing mother. My three siblings proposed that she should be taken to a private nursing home, but my father objected due to financial constraints. I proposed that it was appropriate to employ a caring expert to stay with my mother at home, but my siblings argued that private care would be more expensive than taking her to a nursing home. Finally, it was agreed that we each contribute equal amounts of money so that my mother could be admitted into a nursing home for her condition to be managed. Although the problem appeared to have been solved, it soon became apparent that one of my sisters was unwilling to contribute any money though she had committed herself to the agreement during the meeting. My father agreed to take her share of the burden, thus the problem was solved with some difficulties.
Owing to the fact that the meeting was attended by immediate family members, there was pressure to comply with the decision of contributing equal amounts of money so that we could address the prevailing social situation. This pressure made my revolting sister agree with the collective decision made by all family members to show compliance with social norms and values. Additionally, there was a lack of disagreement as my revolting sister was unable to express her differing opinion on the issue and chose to default in silence. This is consistent with the power of groups to influence our cognitive and social capabilities (Haslam et al., 2014). Lastly, there was self-delusion in that we shared an illusion that we all had agreed with the decision to contribute equal amounts of money so that my mother could be admitted into a nursing home. This characteristic created a false perception of group self-identity that is often used to reinforce group dynamics (Haslam et al., 2014).
Haslam, C., Haslam, S.A., Knight, C., Gleibs, I., Ysseldyk, R., & McCloskey, L.G. (2014). We can work it out: Group decision-making builds social identity and enhances the cognitive performance of care residents. British Journal of Psychology, 105(1), 17-34.
Meyerhoff, M.K. (2007). Perspectives on parenting. Pediatrics for Parents, 23(12), 8-9.