Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Upton I 79
Cognitive Development/Information Processing Theory/Upton: [A] criticism of Piagetian theory is provided by information-processing theory. According to this model of cognitive development, preschoolers are limited by their processing skills rather than their logical reasoning. (Cf. >Egocentrism/Piaget).
Between the ages of two and four, children are more likely to pay attention to salient characteristics of a task, to the detriment of more relevant ones. Such characteristics distract the child’s attention from the task.
Young children are also less systematic in their approach to a task. When asked to compare two complex pictures, they do not necessarily consider all the details before making a judgement (Vurpillot, 1968)(1).
(…) preschoolers are impeded by the accuracy and capacity of their short-term memories. Increased myelination in areas that support memory and planning (e.g. the hippocampus and frontal cortex), which occurs during early childhood, is thought to explain why these areas of processing improve during this phase of development (Pujol et al., 2006)(2).



1. Vurpillot, E. (1968) The development of scanning strategies and their relation to visual differentiation. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 6: 632–50.
2. Pujol, J., Soriano-Mas, C., Ortiz, H., Sebastián-Gallés, N, Losilla, J.M. and Deus, J. (2006) Myelination of language-related areas in the developing brain. Neurology, 66(3): 339–43.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Information Processing Theory
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011


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