Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Interdisciplinaria]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/rss.php?pid=1668-702720070002&lang=es vol. 24 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.ar <![CDATA[La comprensión del funcionamiento bancario en adolescentes chilenos: un estudio de Psicología Económica]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272007000200001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es La comprensión del mundo del dinero y de los mecanismos de crédito y ahorro constituyen prerrequisitos indispensables para el desarrollo de conductas económicas racionales y para evitar niveles excesivos de endeudamiento. En este marco es indispensable que los jóvenes adolescentes adquieran una alfabetización económica y una alfabetización financiera que los preparen para su inserción en el mundo del trabajo y la toma de decisiones económicas. El propósito de este trabajo, desarrollado en el ámbito de la Psicología Económica y a partir de un marco cognitivo / evolutivo, es describir el proceso de desarrollo de la comprensión del funcionamiento bancario en adolescentes chilenos. Los participantes fueron 159 adolescentes escolarizados de 14 a 18 años, balanceados por sexo, pertenecientes a los niveles socioeconómicos alto, medio y bajo y residentes tanto de ciudades multifinancieras, como de ciudades con funcionamiento financiero limitado. Como instrumento de recolección de datos se utilizó una entrevista clínica piagetiana que interrogaba a los jóvenes acerca de las funciones del banco, la forma de acceder a créditos, el ahorro y la relación entre tasas de interés, crédito y ahorro. Los resultados indicaron mayores niveles de comprensión en los sujetos pertenecientes a niveles socioeconómicos medio y alto, residentes en ciudades multifinancieras, y una pobre comprensión en los jóvenes de nivel socioeconómico bajo, residentes en ciudades con sistema financiero limitado. Se discuten estos resultados considerando la creciente complejidad que el mercado impone a las personas como producto de la globalización y la necesidad de líneas educativas en el ámbito financiero y de educación para el consumo en la enseñanza formal de los niños y jóvenes.<hr/>The understanding of the world of money and the mechanisms of credit and saving constitute prerequirements indispensable for the development of rational economic behaviours and to avoid excessive levels of indebtedness, this problem moreover being considered urgent in expanding economies. In this frame it is crucial that the adolescents acquire an economic and financial literacy that prepares them for their insertion in the world of work and economic decision making. Economic literacy refers to the acquisition, done by children, adolescents and adults, of knowledge, beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours related to the use of money, the consumption of goods and services, and the performance in the daily economic world. Economic literacy requires a personal financial literacy defined as the ability to read, to analyze, to understand, to handle and to communicate personal financial situations that affect personal finances and the capacity to make financial decisions considering the variables existing in the economic context. The intention of this research, developed from an Economic Psychology approach, was to describe the development process of the understanding of banking operation in Chilean adolescents. Participants were 159 teenagers enrolled in school with an age range from 14 to 18 years old, balanced by sex and belonging to socioeconomic high, average and low levels, which were divided in two subsamples according to if they were residents of multifinancial cities or financially limited functioning cities. As the data collection instrument, a piagetian clinical interview was used to interrogate the young people about the functions of a bank, the form to accede to credits, savings and the relation between interest rates, credit and saving. The results indicate greater levels of understanding in subjects belonging to average and high socioeconomic levels and residents of multifinancial cities, and a poor understanding in the young people of low socioeconomic level who reside in cities with a limited financial system. Both the qualitative and quantitative analysis of information, indicate that there is a general agreement between the present results and those obtained in previous studies with adolescents in other cultural contexts. One can observe that although an important percentage of subjects have a suitable general understanding of the rules of banking operation, there still is an important number of adolescents who do not obtain this understanding or obtain it only partially. Even in advanced understanding subjects, there is a persistence of difficulties in the ability to relate the action and impact of diverse economic variables (for example, interest rates, internal economic situation of the country, inflation and global economic context variables), which denotes, on the one hand, an insufficient baggage of specific economic knowledge and on the other, the difficulty to think about systems. It is important to consider the influence of the social, cultural and economic context in the comprehension of the function of the bank as a financial intermediary and in the development of consumer behavior. The lack of economic literacy found in the sample indicates the urgent task of preparing our young people for the comprehension of and efficient performance in the economic world, providing them with the information and strategies necessary for decision making as consumers and plaintiffs of financial resources, as a way of contributing to a fairer society and an equitable development. For this purpose, the incorporation of general economic literacy and specifically a suitable financial literacy in the formal education is very relevant. <![CDATA[Estudio preliminar del impacto socioeconómico sobre los puntajes de una batería multidimensional de aptitudes en niños preescolares]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272007000200002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es El presente estudio explora las relaciones entre nivel socioeconómico, género y tipo de centro educativo preescolar y el desempeño cognitivo de niños preescolares (N = 323) de Lima (Perú), con una prueba multidimensional de aptitudes. Con la aplicación de la técnica multivariada de análisis de perfiles se hallaron diferencias estadísticamente significativas y de moderada magnitud del efecto en los puntajes cognitivos, debidas a la ubicación del centro educativo; no se detectaron diferencias que se atribuyan al género y al tipo de centro. Se trabajó en base a tres hipótesis: La primera es la hipótesis de igualdad de niveles, en la que se examinan las diferencias que en promedio existen entre los dos grupos. La segunda es la hipótesis de igualdad de la dispersión, que examina si las variables de respuesta (puntajes en las subescalas) tienen la misma respuesta en promedio. Y la tercera, la hipótesis de paralelismo, que prueba si el patrón de elevaciones en el perfil es similar entre los dos grupos. Los resultados fueron evaluados con respecto a la consistencia interna y a la definición del nivel socioeconómico (ubicación geográfica). Se discuten las diferencias halladas en el aspecto socioeconómico y relacionándolas con la bibliografía sobre el tema y la utilidad de la batería multidimensional de aptitudes para niños preescolares. Es importante destacar que el estudio reporta información normativa acerca del desempeño de los niños preescolares, en lo que respecta al género y ubicación de los centros educativos y su carácter correlacional y la magnitud del efecto de los resultados.<hr/>The present study explores the relationship between socioeconomic level, gender and type of pre-school education center, and cognitive development in 323 pre-schoolers in Lima (Perú), using a multidimensional aptitude test. By applying the multivariate technique, we found statistical significant differences and medium size effects on the cognitive scores due to the educational center location, whereas gender and type of educational center differences were not found. The results were considered taking into account reliability levels and also according to the definition of socioeconomic levels. The differences found are discussed based on other articles as well as on the usefulness of the multidimensional aptitude tests for pre-schoolers. The sample consisted of 323 children of 5 years old, 167 boys and 156 girls, who go to both private and public pre-schools in a district of Lima. The proportion of public pre-school students (67.2%) was double the amount of private pre-school students (32.8%). Moreover, the private pre-schools had been recently formed (4 to 5 years before) and had children from families with a medium or medium to low socioeconomic level. In order to assess general and relevant aspects of pre-school learning, we applied a pre-school diagnostic test (De la Cruz, 1991), which can be used at a pre-school level (4-5 year-olds). This test contains the following areas: Verbal concepts, Quantitative concepts and Auditive memory, Visual perceptual aptitude and Visual-motor coordination. It is a potentia test because the time varies from one student to another so as to allow every child to answer every item. Furthermore, it is also a maximum performance test because the student tries to obtain the best possible score. We contacted several educational centers (private and public) from three different districts in Lima which accepted to participate in this study. The time of application of the test varied considering: individual skills, the number of children in the collective application, the presence of a teacher's aide for the collective application, and the attitude and motivation of the students. We used MANOVA to analyze profiles, a post hoc univariate contrast, and effect size estimations such as Cohen's d. Our study was based on three hypotheses: The first hypothesis was on the equality of levels (variability between subjects) that explores the differences that exist between both groups separately. As a result, we found no correlation between test performance and gender or school location. However, when considering type of school (public or private), we did find significant differences in one scale: Auditive memory, which was higher in public schools. The second hypothesis was the equality of dispersion (within-group differences), to identify if the answer variables have the same answers on average. We found similarities regarding school conditions (public or private); but there were small differences between gender and school location. The third hypothesis was regarding parallelism, which tests whether the pattern of elevations on the profile is similar between the two groups or not. We did not find important statistical dispersions and the effect size was small. The results coincide with other studies on the correlation between gender and socioeconomic level, and cognitive development. Among some of the limitations of our study, we list the following: for example, we used the school location to determine the children's socioeconomic level. Therefore, there were also extreme scores (outliers), which could vary the central tendency estimations and the dispersion. However, they were not trimmed, since in a previous unreported analysis without these data, researchers found only minimum changes. We also had occasional difficulties in applying the tests, due to the children's disposition to participate as well as their reaction concerning the test situation, which could have added random error on the results. However, we presume their negative reactivity was reduced because of the playful manner in which the tests were presented. The results of our research shed normative information regarding the performance of preschoolers due to gender and location of their educational centers. It is important to emphasize correlations as well as effect size of the results so as not to reach erroneous conclusions. <![CDATA[Convergencias conceptuales entre las teorías del aprendizaje implícito y la Psicología Evolucionista]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272007000200003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es El objetivo del presente artículo es contribuir a la integración teórica entre dos perspectivas de amplia difusión y desarrollo actual: las teorías sobre el aprendizaje implícito (AI) y el programa de investigación conocido como Psicología Evolucionista (PE). Se propone la existencia de una base teórica común entre el AI y la PE que incluye: una perspectiva adaptacionista, que sostiene que las estructuras y mecanismos, procesos y conductas necesitan ser integrados dentro de un marco evolucionista y evaluados en términos de los roles que cada uno juega en las especies que los poseen; un innatismo moderado, que admite la existencia de una estructura considerable no dependiente del ambiente y por último, un acuerdo acerca del carácter adaptativo y no reductible de la conciencia. Por el contrario, se considera que no forma parte de los compromisos compartidos la tesis del carácter masivamente modular de la mente.<hr/>Throughout the years, a wide range of systems, trends, schools of thought and paradigms have fought to become researchers' and professionals' number one field of study. In Psychology, however, competing has only produced noticeable theoretic dispersion. The aim of the present article is to contribute to the discussion on theoretical integration by analyzing conceptual convergences between two widely circulating perspectives that are also under current development: the theories of implicit learning (IL) and a research program known as Evolutionary Psychology (EP). Both theories have gradually gained increasing importance among current theory trends. The theories of implicit learning, on one hand, have evolved based on empirical data and have revealed their presence in different experimental paradigms and among diverse populations. On the other hand, over the past few years EP has achieved considerable relevance in the theoretic framework, and has provided evolutionary explanations about a great deal of psychological phenomena. In the first two sections we briefly describe the general characteristics of IL and EP, in order to later analyze possible convergences between both perspectives. Firstly, we show the main conceptual principles of IL based on the analysis made by Frensch who classifies the main existing definitions according to different topics: the stimuli that are involved in the acquisition context, the phenomenological character of the process, the structure complexity of implicit learning content, the existing relationship between IL and neural mechanisms that are different from those in explicit learning, and the functional relationship between IL and attention mechanisms. In the second section, we identify three main theoretical aspects of Evolutionary Psychology: the adjustment assumption (according to which mental systems have emerged basically as features that contribute to an organism's successful reproduction); computational modularity hypothesis (the computation systems that make up the mind are relatively autonomous, they work on a specific purpose and solve very limited kinds of problems); and the innate assumption (that states that mental systems are innate and are determined by a genetic program structure). In the third section we describe some attempts at integrating research on implicit learning within an evolutionary framework. We describe Reber's assumptions on implicit learning which suggest that it is an earlier and more basic phylogenetic type of learning than explicit learning; furthermore we examine their relationship with the comprehensive model of Donald's cognitive evolution. In the fourth section, we particularly examine theoretical convergences between IL and EP theories. We believe that there is a common theoretic base between both perspectives. This theoretical base implies accepting a perspective based on an adaptation framework, supported by the fundamental principles of implicit processes and from an innate position. We believe that the massive modularity assumption does not form part of the conceptual commitments in implicit learning theories, even if it does not turn out to be incompatible with these. Finally, in the conclusions, we summarize our main findings, as well as discuss, from an epistemological framework, the advantages that the theoretical compatibilities hold. We examine different paths to reach a conceptual convergence: theoretical reduction, the unification of a set of minor theories which make up another theory that integrates and surpasses previous ones, as well as the integration of two theoretic bodies that were not connected up to that moment and that account to different theoretic authorities. Given that the potential convergence between Evolutionary psychology and implicit learning does not adjust to any of the aforementioned models, we consider it as a special case of integration. <![CDATA[La investigación básica con animales fortalece la ciencia y la práctica de la Psicología]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272007000200004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Este artículo presenta una revisión de la utilización de modelos animales en los orígenes de la ciencia de la salud mental y provee un ejemplo de mediados del siglo pasado, acerca del desarrollo de una importante y efectiva terapia a partir de la investigación con modelos animales, haciendo notar que muchos clínicos no conocen esta historia. A continuación esta revisión discute lo adecuado de la estructura de un modelo animal, presentando muchas contribuciones de estos modelos a nuestra ciencia, incluyendo algunas que constituyeron aplicaciones inesperadas surgidas de la investigación con animales, que no se realizaron con objetivos aplicativos. Se discute además un ejemplo contemporáneo de la investigación con animales, que generó aplicaciones potenciales en pacientes. Finalmente, se presentan las implicaciones para la ciencia, la práctica y la docencia.<hr/>The formal study of animals as a way to gain insight into human behavior might be claimed to begin with Meyer in the 19th Century. Meyer's understanding of the potential power of the comparative approach has not been shared by many contemporary clinical practitioners even in this day. At the same time, Wolpe became dissatisfied with the ineffectiveness of the then available psychotherapies for treating clients with phobias. Wolpe undertook his researches using cats, first inducing fears and then seeking ways to reduce and eliminate those fears. The most effective way to reduce fears in cats had two components: (1) inducing a state that was incompatible with fear by feeding the animals, and (2) while in this fear-incompatible state, presenting and extinguishing, little-by-little, the fear eliciting stimulus. He generalized this to patients and developed what we now call systematic desensitization for the treatment of phobias. Pavlov was the first experimental animal researcher to use the modeling process to study how findings from animals can be used to study psychological processes in humans (including dysfunctional ones) and to test therapeutic treatments for humans based on tests in animals. The behavior labeled experimental neuroses didn't occur in just one animal but in virtually all animals subjected to the procedure of increasingly difficult discriminations. Shenger-Krestonikova demonstrated that neuroses were likely the natural, lawful consequence of particular forms of challenge to the animal. Another of Pavlov's associates, Krasnogorsky went on to show that exactly the same conditioning operations and environmental challenges in children yielded the same neurotic consequences. There are two important messages here for us: the first is the illustration of the nature of the modeling process in seeking parallels of causal chains between systems. The second is the demonstration that neurotic behaviors are not the result of abnormal disease states but rather the natural consequences of specific abnormal environmental challenges. Overmier and Seligman's discovery in dogs of learned helplessness was later extended to understanding reactive depression. They focused on the uncontrollability of events that characterize classical conditioning by exposing dogs to a series of unpredictable and uncontrollable aversive events. They found that extended experience with uncontrollable traumatic events induced a syndrome of deficits. The syndrome was composed of three major deficits: (1) Behavioral (they where not motivated to initiate responding), (2) Psychological / Cognitive (they did not learn to associate actions and outcomes), and (3) Emotional (they were passive in the face of pain). The additional features included deficits in immune function, increased vulnerability to gastrointestinal disturbances, and dramatic alterations / depletions in brain neurochemistry. The nature of memory has long fascinated psychologists since the 19th Century researches of Ebbinghaus. Trapold and Overmier developed a discriminative choice task paradigm in which the rewards for each kind of correct response were unique to that kind of correct choice. When they compared the results of the common outcomes method to those of the differential outcomes method, they found dramatic effects that they called the differential outcomes effect. The differential outcome procedure yields faster learning, learning to a higher asymptote, and more persistent memory during the delay between the cues and the choices, and resistance to disruption during the delay. It turns out that this effect of differential outcomes training on learning, memory, and performance is a very general finding across a range of species (including humans of all ages). These results have important potential for helping learning disabled and memory impaired persons. The research examples were meant to convey the message. That message is that contemporary basic science research with animals on fundamental mechanisms continues to produce results that are important and likely helpful to practitioners. <![CDATA[The need for an ecological approach within the study and comprehension of cognitive processes]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272007000200005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Los procesos cognitivos organizan y transforman inferencialmente la información sensorio-perceptiva del medio. La base de dichos procesos es ecológica. Se entiende como ecológica toda relación entre un organismo viviente y su medio para alcanzar los balances entre su medio interno y externo. Esas relaciones permiten explicar las funciones preservadoras de la vida. La representación mental es una función preservadora de la vida. Cada especie desarrolla (como requisito de superviviencia) su propia representación holográfica del medio ambiente, pero esta representación adquiere la máxima complejidad cognitiva en la especie humana. Si un desbalance se perpetúa, lleva a la muerte del organismo y a la extinción de la especie. En esto reside la importancia del enfoque ecológico y la profundización del mismo. La explicación de los procesos cognitivos ha avanzado a través de un esquema ecológico tipo abajo/arriba, bottom-up, más que a través de esquemas formales - proposicionales de tipo teoricista arriba / abajo o top-down.<hr/>Cognitive processes are information, meaning, structure organization and transformation processes, most of which are inferential. Then, an important question about cognitive processes is: What is their deepest basis? Where, when, how and at what level do they originate? Here, it is proposed that the original and deepest basis of cognitive processes is essentially ecological and sustained on the permanent unity and relationship between the living organism and its environment. We understand as ecological the undecomposable union between a living organism and its environment, as well as every kind of immediate and stepwise relationship between them. The relationships between a living organism and its environment is held everyday and continuously in order to get its life-preserving resources and to adopt their adequate, best or most successful actions and reactions over the environment, as well as to reach its necessary internal and external balances with and within it. In these terms, the elementary perception and categorization are seen as basic cognitive processes originated in that permanent and whole ecological relationship. This way, representation systems and information processes as developed by each species are seen as basic preservation functions (life-preservation functions) in the teleonomic sense given by Pittendrigh (1958) and later used by Lorenz (1986) within his ethological approach. These arguments support the idea that any species, whatever simpler or complex it may be, whenever it is endowed of minimal sensors (elementary sensory perceptive receptors) for light (sight), odor (olfaction), sound (hearing), taste and tactile stimuli, etc., can form and must have a minimal representation of its immediate surroundings; and so that those living organisms can then count on or have at their own's disposal a minimal mental representation of the immediate and customary environment in which they live and survive along all their lifetime. Otherwise these living organisms will soon and easily die, and its species will be exposed to be extinguished soon too. So, all these argumentations are required and provided in order to analyze and explain the origin of cognitive processes within an ecological bottom-up direction. The main approaches adopted to sustain this ecological view originate in Gibson's (1979) studies on direct perception, in Rosch's (1978) approaches to natural and prototypical categorization of concept-formation, and, finally, it is also found in different attempts by Schank and Abelson (1977) and other authors to describe, for example, the formation of semantic primitives, or of schemata and scripts on alternative and ever changing areas of commonplace social experience and representations. One cue is to easily differentiate between the role and definition between defined attributes and characteristic or prototypical attributes when referring to concepts and their schemes or networks of relationships. There may be many others authors and examples that could be given to prove this ecological approach, however the above mentioned seemed to us prototypical and sufficient as to be especially included and treated.