Posts filed under ‘Cognitive’

Evaluating and comparing two theories of cognitive development.

Both Piaget and Vygotsky provided highly influential theories which had impact on the way children are taught. However, as with every theory and study, there are pro’s and con’s to be highlighted. I will first evaluate Jean Piaget’s theory, followed by Lev Vygotsky. I will then compare and contrast the two with each other, showing the main similarities and differences between the two.

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Continue Reading December 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm 11 comments

Theories of Cognitive Development: Lev Vygotsky.

Born in Orsha, a part of the Russian Empire (now known as Belarus) on 17th November 1896, Vygotsky was a pioneer of psychology; he contributed much important research to the field. He graduated from the Moscow State University in 1917, and went on to work in many research facilities and and educational establishments in Moscow, Leningrad and Kharkov. His extensive research into cognitive development has lead his theory to be one of the most important of it’s kind. He believed that children’s thinking is affected by their social knowledge, which are communicated by either psychological (language, number, art) or technical (books, calculator) means. He was – and sometimes still is – often criticised for being an idealist and his overemphasis of the role of language in thinking (more on the criticisms later). He was also a very popular author, with 6 volumes of his work being classed as major.

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Continue Reading November 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm 45 comments

Cognitive Dissonance made easy.

I’ve read around many sources concerning one classic psychological phenomenon: Cognitive Dissonance. However, it seemed that every site I read from was trying to numb my mind with advanced terminology. It almost seemed they’d reached for a thesaurus and changed every word I read, so that “Hello, my name is John” becomes “Greetings, one may accost me by the appellation comprehended as John.”

No thanks!

If, like me, you prefer things to be kept simple – then this is the perfect post for you. Cognitive Dissonance is a difficult concept to understand, and I can’t exactly explain it without using at least some important terms. So I’ll try to keep things as simple as can be – whilst keeping the post academic also. I hope this helps! Enjoy!

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Continue Reading September 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm 3 comments

3D glasses made simple.

With the huge influx of 3D films exploding into cinema, it might be worth explaining the phenomenon of 3D glasses.

To fully understand the way 3D films and glasses work, we need to understand the basics of eyes:

How we perceive.

From the diagram, it’s easy to see that each eye perceives a slightly different image. Humans have an astounding perception of depth and distance – but only in their binocular field of vision. You can put this to the test yourself. If you try to catch a ball with both eyes open, you’ll most likely catch it fine (unless you’re awful at catching…). As soon as you close one eye, it becomes a whole new situation. You’ll find it much harder to catch, because your brain cannot correlate the images from both eyes to perceive the correct distance.

The brain works on the premise that the eyes are roughly 6 inches apart. This way, it uses the two images to come to a “conclusion” about what an image should look like. This helps us perceive the correct distance, depth and see things in 3D.

3D films work in the same way. Two images are projected on the screen at different positions – from very slightly different angles. Most recent films make use of “polarisation” technology; the images on the screen have been polarised to different wavelengths. The glasses you wear have polarised lenses as well. This means only one of the two images can enter each lens. One eye sees one image from one angle, and the other eye sees the remaining image from the other angle.

Speaking in psychological terms, this tricks the brain into believing what you are seeing is actually real. It correlates the two images, as it would in real life, and you perceive a virtual 3D world. It turns the two separate images and gives them a “meaning”; they are turned into a binocular image, allowing you to see distance and depth.

So next time you watch Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, and many of the other 3D films which are critically acclaimed, you know exactly why you’re seeing something that’s not actually 3D!

Samuel Eddy.

March 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Are you an eye expressions master?

A little bit of a fun post today!

I’m going to post some pictures of people’s eyes (I hope I don’t get murdered for copyright or something…?) and you need to guess (from the list) what expression they’re showing?

Sound simple? Think again. We like to think we’re amazing at interpreting faces, but we’re not as good as we first expect.
See how well you do – and don’t cheat!

1a) playful   b) comforting  c) irritated  d) bored

2a) joking   b) flustered   c) desire   d) convinced

3a) joking   b) insisting   c) amused   d) relaxed

4a) apologetic   b) friendly   c) uneasy   d) dispirited

5a) caution   b) insisting   c) bored   d) aghast

6a) terrified   b) amused   c) regretful   d) flirtatious

7a) disappointed   b) irritated   c) depressed   d) accusing

8a) decisive   b) amused   c) aghast   d) bored

9a) alarmed   b) shy   c) hostile   d) anxious

10a) serious   b) ashamed   c) bewildered   d) alarmed

11a) aghast   b) fantasizing   c) impatient   d) alarmed

12a) scared   b) anticipating   c) threatening   d) shy

13a) dominant    b) sceptical   c) friendly    d) scared

14a) embarrassed   b) serious   c) guilty   d) concern

15a) puzzled   b) nervous   c) insisting   d) contemplative

Ready for the answers?
Make sure you’ve given an answer for every one – if you haven’t, just pick what feels “right”.

1 – playful; 2 – desire; 3 – insisting; 4 – uneasy; 5 – caution; 6 – regretful; 7 – accusing; 8 – decisive; 9 – hostile; 10 – serious; 11 – fantasizing; 12 – anticipating; 13 – friendly; 14 – concern; 15 – nervous.

How well did you do?

The average is around 12-15, so if you did worse than this, your mastery of the eyes is yet to be realised!

Samuel Eddy.

March 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment


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