Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood CognitiveDevelopment 2e
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More About This Title Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood CognitiveDevelopment 2e


This definitive volume is the result of collaboration by top scholars in the field of children's cognition.
  • New edition offers an up-to-date overview of all the major areas of importance in the field, and includes new data from cognitive neuroscience and new chapters on social cognitive development and language 
  • Provides state-of-the-art summaries of current research by international specialists in different areas of cognitive development
  • Spans aspects of cognitive development from infancy to the onset of adolescence
  • Includes chapters on symbolic reasoning, pretend play, spatial development, abnormal cognitive development and current theoretical perspectives


Usha Goswami is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. She is also Director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, which carries out research into the brain basis of literacy, numeracy, dyslexia, and dyscalculia. Dr Goswami has received numerous awards for her work, including the British Psychology Society Spearman Medal, the Norman Geschwind-Rodin Prize for Dyslexia research, and fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust in the United Kingdom, the National Academy of Education in the United States, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.


Acknowledgements x

List of Contributors xi

Introduction 1

Part I Infancy: The Origins of Cognitive Development 5

1 How Do Infants Reason About Physical Events? 11
Renée Baillargeon, Jie Li, Yael Gertner, and Di Wu

2 Social Cognition and the Origins of Imitation, Empathy, and Theory of Mind 49
Andrew N. Meltzoff

3 Kinds of Agents: The Origins of Understanding Instrumental and Communicative Agency 76
György Gergely

4 Social Cognition and Social Motivations in Infancy 106
Malinda Carpenter

5 Born to Categorize 129
Paul C. Quinn

6 Early Memory Development 153
Patricia J. Bauer, Marina Larkina, and Joanne Deocampo

7 Early Word-Learning and Conceptual Development: Everything Had a Name, and Each Name Gave Birth to a New Thought 180
Sandra R. Waxman and Erin M. Leddon

Part II Cognitive Development in Early Childhood 209

8 Development of the Animate–Inanimate Distinction 213
John E. Opfer and Susan A. Gelman

9 Language Development 239
Michael Tomasello

10 Developing a Theory of Mind 258
Henry M. Wellman

11 Pretend Play and Cognitive Development 285
Angeline Lillard, Ashley M. Pinkham, and Eric Smith

12 Early Development of the Understanding and Use of Symbolic Artifacts 312
Judy S. DeLoache

Part III Topics in Cognitive Development in Childhood 337

13 Memory Development in Childhood 347
Wolfgang Schneider

14 Causal Reasoning and Explanation 377
Barbara Koslowski and Amy Masnick

15 Inductive and Deductive Reasoning 399
Usha Goswami

16 The Development of Moral Reasoning 420
Larry P. Nucci and Matthew Gingo

17 Spatial Development: Evolving Approaches to Enduring Questions 446
Lynn S. Liben and Adam E. Christensen

18 Children's Intuitive Physics 473
Friedrich Wilkening and Trix Cacchione

19 What is Scientific Thinking and How Does it Develop? 497
Deanna Kuhn

20 Reading Development and Dyslexia 524
Margaret J. Snowling and Silke M. Göbel

21 Children's Understanding of Mathematics 549
Peter Bryant and Terezinha Nuñes

22 Executive Function in Typical and Atypical Development 574
Philip David Zelazo and Ulrich Müller

23 Language and Cognition: Evidence from Disordered Language 604
Barbara Dodd and Sharon Crosbie

24 The Empathizing-Systematizing (E-S) Theory of Autism: A Cognitive Developmental Account 626
Simon Baron-Cohen

Part IV Theories of Cognitive Development 641

25 Piaget's Theory: Past, Present, and Future 649
Patricia H. Miller

26 Vygotsky and Psychology 673
Harry Daniels

27 Information-Processing Models of Cognitive Development 697
Graeme S. Halford and Glenda Andrews

28 Neuroconstructivism 723
Gert Westermann, Michael S. C. Thomas, and Annette Karmiloff-Smith

29 Individual Differences in Cognitive Development 749
Robert J. Sternberg

Index 775


"All these will find the material in this new companion topical and challenging . . The essays are provided with generous and well-chosen lists of further reading, and many of the works will or should be in any well-stocked academic or research library". (Reference Reviews, 2011)

"This is an authoritative, comprehensive and cutting-edge account of psychological theory and research on children's cognitive development from infants to early adolescence. Written by a cast of world leading academics, this handbook provides a single volume resource that covers all the major topics...This second edition reflects the significant developments within the field arising from the latest cognitive neuropsychological research...This handbook brings together such a wealth of material to constitute possibly the single best reference book in its subject area and, as such, should serve as a key text for advanced students, researchers and practitioners." (The Psychologist, May 2011)

"Overall, the handbook is a thoughtful and valuable reference work, to which users can refer for an impressive range of research." (Julia Carroll, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44:6)

"Though the structure of this book is similar to other volumes in the series, I welcome it with even greater enthusiasm than the rest. While they all summarise and review the latest scientific research in their particular area of child development, research in the field of infant cognition has, in the last few years, completely overturned all previous conceptions. This volume, therefore, not only summarises and updates the literature in its field, but also replaces much of it ... at the moment this book series is the cutting edge ... As with other volumes in the series, all libraries serving postgraduate level studies in psychology and related disciplines should seriously consider acquisition." (Martin Guha, Librarian, Institute of Psychiatry, Reference Reviews, 17 February 2003)

"Summing up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." (K.L. Hartlep, California State University, Bakersfield, Choice, March 2003)

"The book is a timely addition to to the literature on infant and child cognitive development... The significant value of this volume lies in the breadth of its coverage and the sheer comprehensiveness of its execution... For academics and researchers in the field of infant and child cognitive development this is an invaluable resource that encompasses the current state of knowledge in this central developmental area." (Mark Tomlinson, Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2005, 17(2))

"This Handbook contains new insights from developmental neuroscience and comprehensive reviews of theories and research in virtually all area of cognitive development. The authors constitute a Who's Who list of eminent European and American scholars."
Robert Siegler, Teresa Heinz Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

"Usha Goswami has assembled all the best people to present all the important topics in children's cognitive development. This handbook is an indispensable introduction to the field."
—Nora S. Newcombe, Temple University