ERIC Number: ED250091
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Do Babies Think? How Do Babies Think? Unit for Child Studies. Selected Papers Number 23.
Prior to considering the ability of infants to think, this discussion attempts to dispel prevalent myths about babies' thought processes. The fact that infants do not intentionally manipulate their parents; are not identical; are not simply hedonistic seekers of bodily pleasures; and are not passive, disorganized beings needing training into regularity is pointed out. In fact, infants are well-organized, individual in their responses, curious, active, and capable of learning. After establishing these premises, the question of the precise nature of infants' thinking abilities is explored in discussions of perception, physical activities with objects, the development of intention, the development of causality, construction of the permanent object, person permanence, motor memory and symbols, cognitive representation, development of self-awareness, and self-recognition. It is pointed out that (1) a baby's developing perceptual competence is remarkable; (2) processes of intentionality and causality have to be learned and are at first comprehended through infants' own bodies and their handling of objects; (3) symbolic representation at first appears to be of a motor nature; and (4) infants learn about themselves as reciprocating persons in interaction with caretakers. Throughout the discussion, emphasis is given to the need for parents to accept and facilitate children's development without feeling threatened. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New South Wales Univ., Kensington (Australia). School of Education.
Identifiers: Australia (New South Wales); Causal Inferences; Intention; Person Perception; Self Recognition; Symbolic Representation