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Rational Constructivism in Cognitive Development - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123979193, 9780123984630

Rational Constructivism in Cognitive Development, Volume 43

1st Edition

Serial Volume Editor: Fei Xu
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123979193
eBook ISBN: 9780123984630
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 10th October 2012
Page Count: 440
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Table of Contents

Contributors to This Volume



What Is Rational Constructivism?

How Is the Rational Constructivist View Different from Other Views

Some Answers, More Questions

Chapter One The Probable and the Possible at 12 Months

1 Introduction

2 Can Humans Reason about the Probable and the Possible?

3 Infants’ Reasoning Abilities: Domain-Specific Mechanisms, General Systems of Inferences, and Future Predictions

4 A Theory of Probabilistic Reasoning: From Logical Representations to Single-Case Probabilities

5 Infants’ Expectations about the Probable Future

6 Intuitive Statistics and Logical Intuitions of Probabilities: Conflicting or Complementary Explanations?

7 Infant Rationality and Simulations: Yet a Third Alternative?

8 What about “Experienced Frequencies”?

9 The Future of Predictions about the Future

Chapter Two Probabilistic Inference in Human Infants

1 Introduction

2 Empirical Evidence for Probabilistic Inference in Infancy

3 Implications and Conclusions

4 Future Directions

Chapter Three Reasoning about Instrumental and Communicative Agency in Human Infancy

1 Introduction: The Many Faces of Human Reason

2 Third-Personal Reasoning about Instrumental Agency in Young Infants

3 Second-Personal Understanding of Communicative Agency in Young Infants

4 Enduring Relevance and Rationality

5 Concluding Remarks

Chapter Four Can Rational Models Be Good Accounts of Developmental Change? The Case of Language Development at Two Time Scales

1 Introduction

2 Rational versus Associative Inference

3 A Selective Review of Early Language Abilities and Their Speed of Acquisition

4 Discussion

Chapter Five Learning about Causes from People and about People as Causes

1 Introduction

2 The Social Context of Causal Reasoning

3 Using Causal Inference to Learn about People

4 Conclusions

Chapter Six Rational Randomness

1 Rational Randomness

2 The Algorithm Problem and Marr’s Levels of Analysis

3 Approximating Bayesian Inference with Monte Carlo Methods

4 The Sampling Hypothesis and Children’s Inferences

5 Exploring Specific Sampling Algorithms in Children’s Causal Inferences

6 Discussion

7 Conclusions

Chapter Seven Developing a Concept of Choice

1 Introduction

2 Representation and Reality

3 Rational Starting States: Possibility and Constraint

4 Filling in the Details

5 Choice and Agency

6 Social Constraints

7 Choice as an Internal Mental Activity

Chapter Eight When Children Ignore Evidence in Category-Based Induction

1 Introduction

2 The Problem of Induction and a Rational Solution

3 Evidence that Children have Difficulty Being Rational

4 Two Factors that (May) Influence Rationality

5 Rational in the End?

Chapter Nine A Number of Options

1 The Problem

2 Why any Reasonable Account of these Phenomena must be Rationalist

3 Carey’s Rationalist, Constructivist Account of How Exact-Number Concepts are Acquired

4 Three Ways that Bayes can Help with this Project

5 Summary

Chapter Ten Finding New Facts; Thinking New Thoughts

1 Problem 1: Exploring

2 Problem 2: Thinking

3 Theory-Guided Stochastic Search

4 Abstract Error Maps as Constraints on Hypothesis Generation

5 An Example: Making Sense of Noise

6 Good Wrong Ideas and Bad Ones

7 Abstract Error Maps and Variability in Learning

8 Abstract Error Maps, Quinian Bootstrapping, and Analogical Reasoning

9 Functional Roles as Constraints on Hypothesis Generation

10 Constructivism and Imagination

Chapter Eleven Unifying Pedagogical Reasoning and Epistemic Trust

1 A Unified Framework of Epistemic Trust and Pedagogy

2 Connections, Implications, and Future Directions

3 Conclusion

Appendix: Model Specification

Chapter Twelve The Influence of Social Information on Children’s Statistical and Causal Inferences

1 Introduction

2 Social Influences on Infants’ Statistical Learning

3 A Note About the Relation Between Statistical and Causal Learning

4 Influences of Social Information on Preschoolers’ Causal Inferences

5 Rational Causal Inferences in the Physical and Social Domains

6 Concluding Thoughts

Chapter Thirteen The Nature of Goal-Directed Action Representations in Infancy*

1 The Nature of Early Learning and Representations

2 Learning and Representations as Concrete and Specific Versus Abstract and Inferential

3 Infants’ Early Representations of Goal-Directed Action

4 Increasing Abstractedness in Representations of Goal-Directed Action

5 Conclusions and Implications for Early Learning More Broadly

Subject Index

Author Index

Contents of Previous Volumes


Volume 43 of Advances in Child Development and Behavior includes chapters that highlight some of the most recent research in the area of Rational Constructivism. Each chapter provides in-depth discussions, and this volume serves as an invaluable resource for Developmental or educational psychology researchers, scholars, and students.

Key Features

  • Chapters that highlight some of the most recent research in the area
  • Rational Constructivism discussed in detail


Developmental or educational psychology researchers, scholars, and students


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2012
10th October 2012
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Serial Volume Editor

Fei Xu