British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 2 Issue 3 (September 1984), Pages 191-286

Social interaction and cognitive growth: Possible causal mechanisms (pages 269-274)

The causal role of social interaction in the promotion of cognitive development has recently emerged as an important issue in developmental psychology. Two dominant theoretical orientations are currently guiding the empirical studies. The Piagetian perspective has influenced studies conducted to measure operational advances in cognitive functioning as a result of conflict between children. Vygotsky's developmental framework has provoked interest in the ontogenesis of self‐regulatory abilities in children through an analysis of social problem solving. Both seek to explain cognitive development through social processes. Theoretical and empirical links between the two approaches are explored, and the possible role of linguistic processes as causal mechanisms examined.

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