Decision-Making Impulse Control and Cognitive Development Essay

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Decision Making, Impulse Control, And Cognitive Development

Cognitive development entails the development in children with respect to processing of information, conceptual resources, skills in perception, learning the language and development of the brain. Piaget and Vygotsky advance theories explain cognitive development in children. These theories are similar in some aspects, yet they still differ about issues (Nakagaki, 2011). Piaget gives four stages to explain cognitive development whereby he advances that each stage brings new skills and methods of information processing. He argues that children have the innate ability to interact with the environment. Moreover, he adds that children adapt responses and incorporate new schemes for handling situations.

Vygotsky argues that cognitive development depends a lot on social interaction. Moreover, proximal development plays a role in development of cognitive skills. He argues that development is too complex to be dividing it into stages. These theories have similarities. For instance, both theories believe that children development occurs since they are active learners and get to learn things relatively fast. Both Piaget and Vygotsky argue that cognitive development declines with age (Nakagaki, 2011). Additionally, children tend to find answers that seek to align new ideas with the current ideas that are not in line with what he thinks. They agree that egocentric speech is crucial to the cognitive development of a child whereby children are not able to differentiate subjective and objective aspects.

However, these theories have several differences. Piaget's theory suggests that development comes before learning, which is contrary to Vygotsky's opinion. Vygotsky argues that one has to learn first before developing (Steinberg & Scott, 2003). Piaget says that maturation is extremely beneficial to development and that it drives and influences the development. On the other hand, Vygotsky argues that a child enjoys learning and socializing, which drives development. Piaget believes that children learn independently; they solely depend on themselves to learn. On the contrary, Vygotsky believes children's cognition comes from their social interaction with their environment. This interaction acts as a source of knowledge while developing (Holodynski, 2013). In addition, Piaget argues that egocentric speech serves a self-centered purpose only since children are not able to consider other people's point-of-view. Vygotsky disagrees with this since he believes that egocentric speech is a transition linking children's learning the language in a collective, expansive situation and trying to internalize it as private speech.

During the teenage, one experiences awkward moment whereby one feels that he or she knows everything and that he or she is an adult. "Inside the teenage brain" by Sarah Sparks give an explanation on cognitive development. Dr. Jay Giedd conducted a study whereby he ran a Magnetic Resonance Imaging on his son. The magnetic field excited atoms in the body and energy emitted from the atoms constructed a computer-generated image of the brain (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011). The MRI showed the brain's stages from childhood to teenage years, and comparison with adult image brains showed differences.

It is during teenage years that one develops most. Frontal cortex in the brain development of teenagers usually takes the likeness of a baby's brain just before one turns into a teenager. The neocortex and prefrontal cortex, which are responsible for rational thinking, take time to develop. Moreover, these parts are always under construction, therefore, dysfunctional much of the time. Additionally, the grey matter in the pre-frontal cortex is still under development thus teenagers mostly use the emotional part to make decisions (National Center for Juvenile Justice, 2013). This explains why most teenagers are unpredictable, rebellious, and unable to weigh situations first before making reasonable decisions. Moreover, teenager's impulse control is poor and under development during teenage years. Teenagers would make risky decisions, for example, with respect to smoking, drinking, or reckless driving because of the poor brain development. The film Ham's Way: The lessons of Youth Violence give various situations whereby the teenager's actions are from their emotions. Teenagers tend to react automatically to various emotions they encounter without considering future consequences of their actions.

Research shows that logical reasoning depends on psychological capacities. Risk-taking in teenagers depends on socio-emotional network, which is sensitive to social and emotional stimuli. However, they also depend on a cognitive system that helps in planning, thinking ahead, and regulating oneself. The fact that areas that relate to emotions and logical thinking take time to develop make teenagers prone…[continue]

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