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September 25, 2013

Infant Cognitive Development

by Angel Pumila

Infant Cognitive Development

Information-processing theorists claim that a child’s ability to effectively use their memory system has a large effect on their ability to succeed in tasks that involve problem solving.  They explain that children use scripts, or “cognitive structures that underlie behaviors that are often repeated” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  For example to be able to brush your teeth, you must first grab a toothbrush.  Next put toothpaste on the toothbrush, and so on.  These step by step situations saved into memory are built upon as the child ages.

This theory also emphasizes the importance of metamemory and metacognition.  “Metamemory is the knowledge about and control of memory processes” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  Metamemory explains that children know that it takes longer to memorize a long list of word than a shorter list.  It is the knowledge of memory functions.   “Metacognition is knowledge about and control of thought processes” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  Similar to memory, metacognition is the awareness of understanding and thinking.

Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory emphasizes the “role of social factors in cognitive development” Boyd & Bee, 2009).  Vygosky believed that children learn through a joining of minds in social situations and internalize the information for problem solving.  This theory does not deny that leaning can occur on an individual basis, but claims that there’s more learning acquired through social settings instead.

After comparing the two theories above, I believe that both are credible in describing cognitive factors in development.  The information-processing theory explains the use of key factors governing cognitive advancements in an academic setting.  On the other hand, Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory reminds me of learning through parent-child interactions early in life.  Therefore, by understanding both theories and the various uses of each, we will have a better concept of the processes governing cognitive development.




Boyd, D., & Bee, H. (2009). Lifespan Development (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.


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