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      Cognitive theories of early gender development.

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      Psychological Bulletin

      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Abstract

          The contribution of cognitive perspectives (cognitive-developmental theory and gender schema theory) to a contemporary understanding of gender development is evaluated. Recent critiques of cognitive approaches are discussed and empirical evidence is presented to counter these critiques. Because of the centrality of early gender development to the cognitive perspective, the latest research is reviewed on how infants and toddlers discriminate the sexes and learn the attributes correlated with sex. The essence of cognitive approaches--emphasis on motivational consequences of gender concepts; the active, self-initiated view of development; and focus on developmental patterns-is highlighted and contrasted with social-cognitive views. The value of cognitive theories to the field is illustrated, and recommendations are made concerning how to construct comprehensive, integrative perspectives of gender development.

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          Most cited references 137

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          Intergroup bias.

          This chapter reviews the extensive literature on bias in favor of in-groups at the expense of out-groups. We focus on five issues and identify areas for future research: (a) measurement and conceptual issues (especially in-group favoritism vs. out-group derogation, and explicit vs. implicit measures of bias); (b) modern theories of bias highlighting motivational explanations (social identity, optimal distinctiveness, uncertainty reduction, social dominance, terror management); (c) key moderators of bias, especially those that exacerbate bias (identification, group size, status and power, threat, positive-negative asymmetry, personality and individual differences); (d) reduction of bias (individual vs. intergroup approaches, especially models of social categorization); and (e) the link between intergroup bias and more corrosive forms of social hostility.
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            Social cognitive theory of gender development and differentiation.

            Human differentiation on the basis of gender is a fundamental phenomenon that affects virtually every aspect of people's daily lives. This article presents the social cognitive theory of gender role development and functioning. It specifies how gender conceptions are constructed from the complex mix of experiences and how they operate in concert with motivational and self-regulatory mechanisms to guide gender-linked conduct throughout the life course. The theory integrates psychological and sociostructural determinants within a unified conceptual structure. In this theoretical perspective, gender conceptions and roles are the product of a broad network of social influences operating interdependently in a variety of societal subsystems. Human evolution provides bodily structures and biological potentialities that permit a range of possibilities rather than dictate a fixed type of gender differentiation. People contribute to their self-development and bring about social changes that define and structure gender relationships through their agentic actions within the interrelated systems of influence.
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              Statistical learning of tone sequences by human infants and adults.

              Previous research suggests that language learners can detect and use the statistical properties of syllable sequences to discover words in continuous speech (e.g. Aslin, R.N., Saffran, J.R., Newport, E.L., 1998. Computation of conditional probability statistics by 8-month-old infants. Psychological Science 9, 321-324; Saffran, J.R., Aslin, R.N., Newport, E.L., 1996. Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants. Science 274, 1926-1928; Saffran, J., R., Newport, E.L., Aslin, R.N., (1996). Word segmentation: the role of distributional cues. Journal of Memory and Language 35, 606-621; Saffran, J.R., Newport, E.L., Aslin, R.N., Tunick, R.A., Barrueco, S., 1997. Incidental language learning: Listening (and learning) out of the corner of your ear. Psychological Science 8, 101-195). In the present research, we asked whether this statistical learning ability is uniquely tied to linguistic materials. Subjects were exposed to continuous non-linguistic auditory sequences whose elements were organized into 'tone words'. As in our previous studies, statistical information was the only word boundary cue available to learners. Both adults and 8-month-old infants succeeded at segmenting the tone stream, with performance indistinguishable from that obtained with syllable streams. These results suggest that a learning mechanism previously shown to be involved in word segmentation can also be used to segment sequences of non-linguistic stimuli.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychological Bulletin
                Psychological Bulletin
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-1455
                0033-2909
                2002
                2002
                : 128
                : 6
                : 903-933
                Article
                10.1037/0033-2909.128.6.903
                12405137
                © 2002

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