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Faux, Ph. It offers intriguing accounts of how individuals are able to use the visual arts, theatre, literature, and music to represent the world as it could be. This book will be of great value to school-based educators and cognitive researchers who wish to engage with current issues at the intersection of the arts, cognition and social development. By bringing the issue of art back Art becomes a matter of everyday creativity of human beings in their lives. Psychology needs to start-rather than finish-with phenomena of art in its coverage, and this book may be a small step for its authors but a giant step for psychology.

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Piaget's Theory: Sensorimotor and Preoperational Stages

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Matthew Syed. Other Minds. Peter Godfrey-Smith. Emotional Intelligence. Daniel Goleman. The Body Keeps the Score. Bessel van der Kolk.

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Viktor E. Derren Brown. The Idiot Brain. The characteristics already covered in this article holism, multi-level analysis, relationism and relativism lead to a dispersive perspective of development, which accepts novelty as a possibility and denies pre-determinism, or the idea that development follows an unalterable or inevitable course.

Jean Piaget Symposia Series

Novelty in ontogeny has usually been attributed either to instructions contained in the genetic code, or to the incorporation of information from the individual's physical or social environment. Systemic theories, however, adopt the principle of self-organization in order to explain novelty. This proposal is connected with the dialectic principle of transformation of quantity into quality , which establishes that when the magnitude of the phenomenon's intrinsic properties transcend certain limits, then quantitative change leads to a qualitative or structural reorganization of higher level.

Self-organization is central to modern theories of non-lineal dynamic systems. As Van der Maas and Hopkins stated, "what is interesting about discontinuous shift in the collective variable of a non-linear system is that it is driven by a linear change in an existing control parameter without the addition of a new variable" p. According to specific experiences in their environment and the needs, objectives and plans that arise in the person, development acquires a particular character. For Magnusson and Stattin , this is a fundamental aspect that reveals a clear difference between the dynamic processes produced in the person-environment system and other holistic processes.

We find an interesting application of the idea in the selection, optimization and compensation developmental model proposed by Baltes and Baltes The first term refers to the prioritization of developmental goals. The second term refers to the acquisition of specific goal-related skills. The third term consists of the inversion of additional resources in response to some type of decline in goal-relevant means, with the aim of maintaining the desired level of functioning. Initially applied in the explanation of adulthood and aging, the model has recently been extended to adolescence by Lerner, Freund, DeStefanis and Haberlas Secondly, in line with the systemic principle of self-stabilization, the organism is defended as tending to respond to any alterations produced by these changes with homeostatic or homerhetic processes.

In a recent study, Grossman et al. To do so, they took Waddington's metaphor of canalization and included non - genetic canalizing experiences that were absent in the original proposal.


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In Gottlieb's concept of probabilistic epigenesis , we find a clear reflection of systemic dispersivity and its limits. It affirms the emergent nature of the developmental process, and rejects that this process follows an unalterable course: this is conceived as probable in relation to the normative. Magnusson and Stattin echo this idea when they affirm that the processes of psychological development "are lawful but unpredictable" p. The impossibility of precisely predicting developmental processes is not only the result of intra- and inter-individual variability and self-organization.

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It is also a consequence of the acceptance of a type of causality which until recently has been lacking in explanations of development. It is referred by Lerner , as configurational or field causality and implies that none of the levels of the person-environment system, or elements in any level, are considered to be primordial in causal terms.

Magnusson and Stattin defined this idea in the following terms:. In the dynamic interaction process… what initiates a specific process and maintains it over time may vary. A psychological factor may start a biological process, which is then maintained by physiological factors… similarly, psychological factors can maintain a process that affects his or her own environment in many different ways directly and indirectly… the implication of this view is that the concepts of independent and dependent, and of predictors and criteria, lose the absolute meaning that they have in traditional research, which assumes unidirectional causality.

What may function as a criterion or dependent variable at a certain stage of a process may, at the next stage, serve as a predictor or independent variable p. Also, configurational causality is relational; Kindermann and Valsiner , for example, indicate that development is not determined by either individuals or their contexts, but instead by the complex interconnections that are produced between both.

They defend that developmental psychologists should concentrate on these interconnections instead of each separate element. Similarly, Gottlieb states that "the behavioral or organic, or neural outcomes of development are the consequence of at least at minimum two specific components of coaction e. The cause of development — what makes development happen — is the relationship of the two components, not the components themselves. Recently, Gottlieb and Tucker have reaffirmed the role of this type of relational or coactive causality in the explanation of normal and abnormal development.

Finally, Gottlieb refers directly to the component of novelty that is implicit in this type of causality. According to the author, "an important feature of developmental systems is that causality is often not 'linear' or straightforward. In conclusion, individual development is considered in modern systemic terms as a process in which new properties emerge as a result of dynamic interactions between the different levels of the person-environment system, and whose product is not certain but probable.

More specifically, its main premises are:. As the individual develops as an integrated organism, contributions made to this process by maturation, experience or culture should not be analyzed separately. The conceptual framework described in developmental research has numerous implications. Firstly, systemic relativism is concerned with the external validity of investigation, and the possibility of generalizing the results Lerner, b; ; Lerner et al.

Consequently, investigations that focus on individual and contextual diversity are more widely accepted than those concentrating on "typical" individuals and "standard environments". As "experimental manipulations" in the "real world" they may provide data about person-context relations, and the plasticity that may be available to enhance human development.

Systemic dispersivity involves abandoning prediction as the final goal of scientific research. According to Magnusson and Stattin , this should be substituted by the comprehension and explanation of the processes that drive individual functioning and development. Bronfenbrenner and Morris , emphasize a type of investigation which, by adopting a discovery mode , would allow hypotheses to be created with sufficient explanatory power and precision to be able to be subjected to empirical testing.

However, perhaps the most direct implication of the holistic-systemic perspective is the way in which it gives little consideration to studies analyzing isolated aspects of the person-environment system, and values multidimensional studies Bronfenbrenner, ; Lerner, , b; ; Magnusson, , This call for collaboration which was present in the earliest work concerning the systemic perspective, the socio-cultural and life span movements, has gone from strength to strength, and has received institutional support.

We would also mention the appearance of the journal "Applied Developmental Science" edited by R. Lerner and C. On the contrary to this organizational response, the practical application in research of the methodological proposals inspired by the systemic perspective has not been as widespread as we would expect, judging by publications in Developmental Psychology journals. Some years ago, Thelen complained that any theoretical systemic considerations were usually relegated to the discussion section of articles, which paradoxically upheld the insufficiency of traditional explanations based on main and interaction effects.

Jean Piaget Symposia Series - Routledge

The author affirmed that the systemic vision included a series of major obstacles for empirical analysis, and that for this reason most investigators remained firmly attached to the "old ways". In more moderate terms, Gottlieb denounced the insensitivity of investigators concerning human diversity and contextual variation.

In turn, Bronfenbrenner called for researchers to give as much consideration to personal variables as that which he had previously demanded for contextual variables.