manu0062: October 2011 Archives

Sleepwalking

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Sleepwalking is the act of walking while one is fully asleep. Some sleepwalkers have been know to drive cars, turn on computers, or even have sexual intercourse, according to our text, From Inquiry to Understanding. Sleepwalking can be a very scary phenomenon when it occurs to you. One evening I slept walked. I was in the town of Chatfield sleeping over a friend's house. I remember going to sleep on the couch. The next thing that I remember is waking up because I stubbed my toe. I was very confused as to how I ended up walking barefoot around town. I was very confused and it took me some time to piece together the puzzle. As scared and estranged that I was to my situation, I was very happy that I at least had clothes on. Till today my mother worries me to not sleep naked. Just in case I have another sleeping promenade! Little is known as to why we sleepwalk. Strangely, sleepwalking normally doesn't occur throughout the REM sleep. REM, stands for Rapid Eye Movement. REM sleep is a period of time when the brain is most active while sleeping. Throughout the REM period it is almost as if we are awake. Logically, we could draw the conclusion that people sleep walk during REM sleep because of the fact that they are so active, almost awake. This is an incorrect assumption. Our text explains that "Contrary to popular misconception, sleepwalkers aren't acting out their dream, because sleepwalking almost always occurs during non REM (especially stage 3 o4 4) sleep. Sleepwalking is also know as Somnambulism, a subject of study that in our time may become less of a mystery.

Jean Piaget

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Cognitive Psychology, according to our text, intends to examine the role of mental processes on behavior. The understanding of this field grew tremendously because of Jean Piaget's theory on Cognitive Development. Jean Piaget was a French spoken man who lived from 1896-1980. His theory of Cognitive Development consisted of four stages.
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1. Sensorimotor: (birth to about age 2)
During this stage, the child learns about himself and his environment through motor and reflex actions. Thought derives from sensation and movement. The child learns that he is separate from his environment and that aspects of his environment -- his parents or favorite toy -- continue to exist even though they may be outside the reach of his senses. Teaching for a child in this stage should be geared to the sensor motor system. You can modify behavior by using the senses a frown, a stern or soothing voice -- all serve as appropriate techniques.
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2. Preoperational: (begins about the time the child starts to talk to about age 7)
Applying his new knowledge of language, the child begins to use symbols to represent objects. Early in this stage he also personifies objects. He is now better able to think about things and events that aren't immediately present. Oriented to the present, the child has difficulty conceptualizing time. His thinking is influenced by fantasy -- the way he'd like things to be -- and he assumes that others see situations from his viewpoint. He takes in information and then changes it in his mind to fit his ideas. Teaching must take into account the child's vivid fantasies and undeveloped sense of time. Using neutral words, body outlines and equipment a child can touch gives him an active role in.
3. Concrete: (about first grade to early adolescence)
During this stage, accommodation increases. The child develops an ability to think abstractly and to make rational judgments about concrete or observable phenomena, which in the past he needed to manipulate physically to understand. In teaching this child, giving him the opportunity to ask questions and to explain things back to you allows him to mentally manipulate information.
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4. Formal Operations: (adolescence)
This stage brings cognition to its final form. This person no longer requires concrete objects to make rational judgments. At his point, he is capable of hypothetical and deductive reasoning. Teaching for the adolescent may be wide-ranging because he'll be able to consider many possibilities from several perspectives of learning (Definitions of Piaget's 4 Stages, Patient Teaching, Loose Leaf Library, Spring House Corporation,1990 http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/facdev/guidebk/teachtip/piaget.htm).

Cognitive Psychology for me is very interesting because it has challenged the ideas of great thinkers like Freud who thought children were much more vegetable like. Piaget embraced the fact that children have depth perception. That they learn by cues, and are constantly observing there surrounding creating connections. However, these connections would not be possible if the slate did not contain some information previously, DNA. Tabula Rasa is the theory that we are born with a blank slate. This to me is a bogus Idea. First we must point out, in consideration of our biology, that scientists have over whelming evidence that DNA are the true survivors of time, and evolution. Through natural selection, our traits, have been passed down from parent to child. The DNA that was not capable of survival has died off. Our DNA produces human beings that are born with a recipe for survival. Newly born babies have abilities that were far overlooked before Jean Piaget's time, and the birth of Cognitive Psychology. In reality "The newborn is endowed with a rich set of reflexes, unlearned responses that are triggered by a specific form of stimulation (Human Development a Life Span View 5th ed., Robert V. Kail, John C. Cavanaugh; pp.84). None of us should be blind to the innate possibilities that our Biology has evolved for us. Through the understandings of Cognitive Psychology we can better understand how our Biology directs, and co-creates our human growth simultaneously with our environments.


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