Information-Processing Approach 

Information-Processing Approach 

Information-Processing approach traces the ways individuals manipulate information, monitor it and strategize about the information. 

As this approach is built from Piagetian research, it is also known as Neo-Piagetian approach. It explains how the thinking process of children develops through childhood and adolescence. Unlike children, adolescents develop a larger capacity for processing information enabling them acquire more complex knowledge. Like computers, human cognition also consists of mental hardware and mental software. Mental hardware consists of cognitive structures, including different memories where information is stored; whereas mental software includes organized sets of cognitive processes that assist individuals to complete specific tasks. 

For example, if a student wants to do well in an examination, s/he must encode the information during reading, store it in memory, and then retrieve the necessary information during the examination. Let us understand how this approach explains thinking process during childhood and adolescence stages. It is similar with the advancements made in personal computers. Compare the computers built a decade ago with that of modern computers. The modern computers have better hardware and software. Likewise, older children and adolescents have better hardware and better software. You may get more vividness when you observe that older children easily solve mathematics problems better than younger children who rely more on calculators. An important aspect of development is to learn good strategies for processing information. 

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