Part 1: Summary of the reading
The researchers were interested in the testing the phenomenon of variability in levels of intelligence among different individuals in different developmental stages. They tested their hypothesis in the light of the similarities and differences between the Marxist psychological concepts developed by Vygotsky and Piaget regarding the acquisition of higher psychological processes. The author recognizes that Vygotsky was similar to Piaget in that both enjoyed doing odd things, started publishing psychology works in their very tender age, and that both were struggling with more works in psychology greater than child psychology. In order to accomplish their research objectives, the researchers utilized the study methodology of direct observation of the study participants in their natural environment in order to determine the trends of the development of higher mental capabilities among individuals in the society.
In the long run, the researchers established that despite the documented similarities between the two psychologists, there existed a number of contrasts, chief among them the basis of their psychological concepts. In this regard, Piaget based his claims on the theory of human evolution put forward by Darwin, whereas Vygotsky argued on the basis of Karl Marx's theory of the government and labor. In the long run, however, both agreed that humans are surrounded by and interact freely with their physical and social environment, making it necessary to study human behavior in natural settings rather than isolating the study subjects from their natural environment. Additionally, the researchers concluded that what humans learn is stored in either the immediate natural memory that is driven by senses, or in the mediated sign-assisted memory that is aided by an external factor.
Part 2: Real world application
The researcher gives the example of igniting past memories through the influence of some external stimuli that remind one of the occurrences of long ago as it happens in the case of a man remembering his former girlfriend immediately after sensing a perfume similar to that worn by the girlfriend. Another example of the demonstration of natural memory as the basic form of remembering is the situation in which one remembers the old days of childhood playfulness when they used to play around parents as they listened to some common music of that time. When an adult hears such old music, the memories of their childhood days will automatically pop up and they will be able to visualize themselves playing with other children at that tender age.
Part 3: Analysis of research methodology
The method used to study the phenomenon of how humans higher levels of intellect was achieved through observation of the study subjects in their natural environment. The observation method was appropriate to address the hypothesis of the study because it allows for the direct establishment and recording of the changes in the psychological functioning of the subjects under study by observing how they think, reason, speak and act in their natural environment. As such, reliable data is collected as it represents the subjects' natural behavior. The same phenomenon could be studied through interviews or questionnaires that are formulated as mental tests to assess the intellectual ability of the subjects by determining the way they think, speak and act through asking probing questions. It is important to consider the ages of the population and the environment in which the study is carried out, as well as the ethical concern of seeking informed and written consent from the participants of the study.
Part 4: Importance to the field
The importance of this study to the field of human development is that is forms the basis for the understanding of the development of human intelligence right from childhood up to adulthood. As such, comprehending this study equips one with knowledge on how the intellectual abilities of individuals at various developmental stages affect their behavior. In fact, comprehending the study and its applicability is crucial to human development majors as it gives them specific knowledge regarding the variation of intelligence levels with developmental stage, and helps them apply this knowledge in their interactions with people of different ages and mental capabilities.
2) Short Answer Portion 2
In the first article, Fantz studied the phenomenon investigating whether babies perceive at birth and whether their behavior of looking at people and objects has any meaning. This phenomenon was studied through observation of the behavior of chicks, baby chimpanzees and human babies in terms of their preferences and reactions to various stimuli. It was found that babies had preferences for pattern types, possessed some visual acuity, hence giving evidence for the importance of social stimuli in determining babies' behaviors. This led to the conclusion that there exists some unlearned and primitive significance behind infantile perceptions.
The second article reports the investigation on what children think about the thought processes of other children, and whether they are capable of forming theories of mind. To unveil this hypothesis, Premack and Woodruff used four videos showing a human actor in a cage resembling that of an experimental chimpanzee, and doing things that would resolve every problem presented. These researchers found that chimpanzees could form very simple theories of mind by imputing the desired mental states induced by human actions.
Roger Brown, in the third article, sought to describe and document exactly how children were able to talk with regard to the development of language semantics and their expression in the first sentences made by children who were learning to speak. The children participants in this study were asked to construct five sentences and elaborate the meanings and roles of the words they used in order to investigate their language learning capacity and the suitability in the use of semantics. In this case, the researcher revealed that the first sentences constructed by children had approximately eight similar semantic relationships, and that the grammar morphemes they made had about fourteen distinct elements that were expressed in a predictable order.