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Children's Thinking

Children's Thinking
Cognitive Development and Individual Differences

Sixth Edition
Additional resources:

January 2017 | 720 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The Sixth Edition of the topically organized Children’s Thinking presents a current, comprehensive, and dynamic examination of cognitive development. The book covers individual children and their developmental journeys while also following the general paths of overall cognitive development in children. This unique and effective approach gives readers a holistic view of children’s cognitive development, acknowledging that while no two children are exactly alike, they tend to follow similar developmental patterns. Supported by the latest research studies and data, the Sixth Edition provides valuable insights for readers to better understand and work with children.


Chapter 1. Introduction to Cognitive Development
Basic Concepts in Cognitive Development  
Six Truths of Cognitive Development  
Goals of Cognitive Developmentalists  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 2. Biological Bases of Cognitive Development
Evolution and Cognitive Development  
Models of Gene-Environment Interaction  
Development of the Brain  
Developmental Biology and Cognitive Development  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 3. Social Construction of Mind: Sociocultural Perspectives on Cognitive Development
Role of Culture in Cognitive Development  
Cognitive Artifacts That Support and Extend Thinking: Tools of Intellectual Adaptation  
Social Origins of Early Cognitive Competencies  
Sociocultural Theory and Cognitive Development  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 4. Infant Perception and Cognition
Basic Perceptual Abilities of Young Infants  
Methodologies Used to Assess Infant Perception  
Development of Visual Perception  
Auditory Development  
Combining Senses  
Perceptual Narrowing  
How Do We Know What Babies Know? The Violation-of-Expectation Method  
Core Knowledge  
What Is Infant Cognition Made Of?  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 5. Thinking in Symbols: Development of Representation
Learning to Use Symbols  
Piaget’s Theory  
Everyday Expressions of the Symbolic Function  
Causal Representation  
Fuzzy-Trace Theory  
The Symbolic Species  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 6. Development of Folk Knowledge
Theory Theories of Cognitive Development  
Folk Psychology: Developing a Theory of Mind  
Folk Biology: Understanding the Biological World  
Folk Physics: Understanding the Physical World  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 7. Learning to Think on Their Own: Executive Function, Strategies, and Problem Solving
Assumptions of Information-Processing Approaches  
Development of Basic-Level Processes: Executive Function  
Development of Strategies  
Learning to Solve Problems  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 8. Memory Development
Representation of Knowledge  
Memory Development in Infancy  
Infantile Amnesia  
Implicit Memory  
Development of Event Memory  
Children as Eyewitnesses  
Remembering to Remember  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 9. Language Development
What Is Language?  
Describing Children’s Language Development  
Some Theoretical Perspectives of Language Development  
Bilingualism and Second-Language Learning  
Sex Differences in Language Acquisition  
Language and Thought  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 10. Social Cognition
Social Learning  
Social Information Processing  
Development of a Concept of Self  
Cognitive Bases of Gender Identity  
How Special Is Social Cognition?  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 11. Schooling and Cognitive Development
Development of Reading Skills  
Children’s Number and Arithmetic Concepts  
Schooling and Cognitive Development  
Evolutionary Educational Psychology  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 12. Approaches to the Study of Intelligence
Psychometric Approach to the Study of Intelligence  
Information-Processing Approaches to the Study of Intelligence  
Sternberg’s Theory of Successful Intelligence  
Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  
Chapter 13. Origins, Modification, and Stability of Intellectual Differences
Transactional Approach to the Study of Intelligence  
Behavioral Genetics and the Heritability of Intelligence  
Experience and Intelligence  
Stability of Intelligence  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Suggested Readings  


Instructor's Resource Website

Calling all instructors!

It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for the Sixth Edition of Children’s Thinking by David F. Bjorklund and Kayla B. Causey. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!


Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:


  • Microsoft® Word® test bank with multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for use when creating the syllabi for your courses.
Key features


  • Integration of contemporary themes in cognitive development include the neoconstructivist approach, the Goldilocks effect, Bayesian probabilistic reasoning, “hot” and “cold” executive functioning, perceptual narrowing, and causal representation.
  • Expanded discussion of sociocultural perspectives in key areas includes gender cognition, language, and the effects of media on the development of attention.
  • More research from developmental cognitive neuroscience expands on a trend begun in earlier editions.
  • An evolutionary psychology perspective outlined in Chapter 2 is more prominent in appropriate chapters throughout the book.
  • Section Reviews throughout chapters have replaced end-of-chapter summaries to help readers review and retain the material more concisely.
  • Ask Yourself… questions consecutively numbered within a chapter after each Section Review engage students in reflection and critical thinking.
  • Topical organization emphasizes and integrates the three overarching perspectives that guide today’s researchers and practitioners of developmental psychology.   

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 4

Chapter 8

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