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ERIC Number: EJ939701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
What's in a U? The Shapes of Cognitive Development
Marcus, Gary F.
Journal of Cognition and Development, v5 n1 p119-122 2004
"Little by little, the child develops," wrote an undergraduate in a friend's cognitive development class, and so, for the most part, it is. But what explains the U's of cognitive development? Namy, Campbell, and Tomasello and Cashon and Cohen take a standard approach to understanding U-shaped curves: as the product of a mix of different cognitive processes that come on-line at different points in development. Gershkoff-Stowe and Thelen take a rather different view, suggesting that one should look outside the head, away from "programs" and "modules" and out toward the body and the environment. The none-too-surprising conclusion is that every U-shaped phenomenon must be studied independently. Phenomena that have the appearance of U-shaped development should never be taken at face value--the base rates are too low. In most behaviors, performance really does steadily improve, and some seemingly U-shaped phenomena may reflect little more than measurement error. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A