ABREU, Liliane Alcântara de , SOARES, Pamela Cristina , NUNES, Letícia Monteiro , REHDER, Giovanna de Souza , MELO, Natalia Sayuri , SILVA, Gabriella Braga Dias da , MENDES, Matheus Passos 
ABREU, Liliane Alcântara de, Et. al. Memory performance in the child’s evolution and language from Vygotsky’s perspective. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year. 07, Ed. 04, Vol. 04, p. 67-92. April 2022. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link: https://www.nucleodoconhecimento.com.br/psychology/childs-evolution-and-language
This article is the result of an analysis of the “play of forbidden colors” in individuals within the stages of thought and language development presented by Lev Vygotsky (2000). It was taken into account not only his studies about the higher mental functions of the child, but how the understanding and evolution of a subject would work through this specific game, being observed through the psychological prism that would allow later to reflect the propositions of Vygotsky in contrast with Piaget. The guiding problem was: how does the performance of memory work in the evolution of a child’s thinking and language through their growth from Vygotsky’s perspective? The general objective focused on verifying the child’s ability to use instruments and cultural signs as aids in the memory of game instructions. The methodology consisted of a literature review to understand whether the conduct of results would be in accordance with Vygotsky and his concept of hasty analysis by measuring how individuals build their reflexive bases and connected with a mediator. There was observation and listening to responses, and the analysis of how the performance of memory would work in the evolution of thought and language of a subject through its growth. Therefore, the approach was applied to four children in the city of São Paulo, aged between 6 and 8 years, of both sexes, and without determining social class, however, egalitarian. In addition, the assumptions of hypotheses were established in memory performance, but segmented into four principles: task application, age group, relationships and task execution. As results and conclusions, it was noticed that the children reproduced reactions according to their memory development processes compatible with their age. They even highlighted the importance of the mediator in the process of socialization and transformation in the development of the individual, and met the expectations regarding the process of memory performance in the evolution of thought and language of a subject through its growth. The observations, studies and analyzes took place in the second semester (August to November) of 2019 as part of an academic work of the Psychology course at Universidade Paulista-UNIP/SP.
Keywords: Color, Child, Development, Memory, Psychology.
This article aimed to analyze the responses of four infants, given instructions for a series of tasks presented in the form of a game, culminating in the production of a university report on the Psychology course. For that, the studies of Lev Vygotsky (2000) were considered from the perspective of the evolutionary process of the elementary and superior mental functions of the child, and how the performance of memory would work in the evolution of thought and language of a subject through its growth.
The guiding problem that the team investigated was: how does the performance of memory work in the evolution of a child’s thinking and language through his/her growth from Vygotsky’s perspective?
From this, it was possible to elaborate the general objective, and that it was tried to verify the child’s ability in the use of instruments and cultural signs as aids in the memory of game instructions. The specific objectives developed in observing the existence and frequency of the egocentric speech used by the child in the attempt to direct and organize his actions; observe the child’s ability to memorize instructions; offer three game situations to assess physical and intellectual development. In addition, the assumptions of hypotheses were established in memory performance, but were segmented into four principles: task application, age group, relationships and task execution.
The research methodology included a bibliographic review to understand whether the conduct of results would be in accordance with Vygotsky (2000). The concept of analysis based on this author is related to behavioral investigation precipitated by minimal measurement to understand how individuals build their reflexive bases and established by indirect connections with a mediator. There was also the observation and listening of responses for comparative results between these subjects and Vygotsky’s theory (2000) which is based on the evolutionary process of the child’s elementary and superior mental functions. In addition, there was an analysis of how the performance of memory would work in the evolution of thought and language of a subject through its growth. Therefore, the approach was applied to four children in the city of São Paulo, aged between 6 and 8 years, of both sexes, without a determining social class, but all of whom were included in the same category of social leveling. The application of three series of tests based on the game of forbidden colors was aimed at verifying and better understanding the processes that make up the cognitive and evolutionary structure of the human being in childhood. This was necessary for a brief understanding of the evolutionary process of the individual’s thought and language, promoting the conduction and achievement of higher mental functions, as well as factors such as egocentrism and inter and intrapsychic systems.
The team relied on Maluf and Mozzer (2019); Oliveira (1997); Taille; Oliveira and Dantas (1992); Abreu (2015) on these issues and the parallel of the work of Vygotsky and Jean Piaget (1994; 1999; apud VYGOTSKY, 2000).
1.1 VYGOTSKY’S WORK
Piaget and Vygotsky (LA TAILLE et al., 1992; apud ABREU, 2015) were two contemporary researchers with different perspectives on human cognitive development. Vygotsky ended up basing his studies on Piaget’s research, and one cannot speak of one without mentioning the other (even to make a parallel for better understanding), and this is what will be elaborated in this article.
Piaget (1994; 1999; LA TAILLE et al., 1992, apud ABREU, 2015) said that the child’s interaction with the world always includes the process of assimilating the new to the old, reacting to new objects and events, and establishing of relations of new things with previous experiences. In other words, intelligence was ready-made, as children could only learn what they were prepared to assimilate. And it was up to the teachers to improve the students’ discovery process. Furthermore, his argument was that thought comes before language. His understanding was that learning occurs in the relationship of what is offered between the physical and social environments. In this way, if there are no challenges, the individual will not seek solutions. However, if the problem is far from the individual’s reality and far from what he knows, learning does not occur. In summary, he argued that mental development generates learning, and is therefore a process built from the inside out.
Piaget’s theories (LA TAILLE et al., 1992, apud ABREU, 2015) were based on observations of children, including their children. His approach prevented him from advancing experimental research, which currently shows reactions provoked by types of stimuli controlled by contemporary researchers. The author essentially followed children who were well cared for and cared for, and lived in an environment considered safe and peaceful in Switzerland. Therefore, his observations differ radically from the research of Vygotsky (2000) and Luria (IVIC, 2010), precisely because of this factor. Luria was the forerunner of neuropsychology and supported Vygotsky in these investigations. Both observed and tested poor, hungry children on the street and most of the time without family reference. His research also covered children with needs and needs of all kinds, and who were experiencing a series of family and socio-political conflicts in the middle of the Russian Revolution.
Soviet compatriots and considered the fathers of Neuroscience and Neuropsychology (culminating as Cognitive Neuroscience), accepted Pavlov’s concept (apud ABREU, 2015) on psychological processes based on reflexes, but later expanded the thinking. This is because during World War I, Americans used Pavlov’s research to train front-line soldiers. Thus, both resisted American thinking that complex psychological processes could be reduced to chains of reflexes.
The main theorists and researchers of that time were of Soviet origin, but were persecuted and/or ignored in their own country. All these studies, as well as the theorists themselves, refugees – arrived in the United States because of politics. Therefore, it is from these researchers that the new American scholars succeed. Precisely for this reason, his texts were changed in the English translation, and again, for political-social reasons, adapting the Soviet concepts to the North American reality (as when Rome appropriated Greek mythology). This did not happen in Brazil, as the concepts of social experience by Vygotsky (2000) and Luria (LA TAILLE et al., 1992, apud ABREU, 2015) were similar to the reality of Latin America. Subsequently, they studied Piaget’s theories in depth (1994; 1999), and took a contrary position on many aspects.
Luria (apud ABREU, 2015) focused his studies on Cognitive Psychology. Vygotsky (2000; LA TAILLE et al., 1992, apud ABREU, 2015), who was also based on the Freudian theory of psychoanalysis, argued that learning causes mental development, moving from the outside to the inside, and therefore, inversely proportional to Piaget’s theory (LA TAILLE et al., 1992, apud ABREU, 2015). Another aspect is that Vygotsky claimed, for example, that thought and language are interdependent processes. He also believed that intelligence is something that can be developed and built from man’s relationships with the environment. In this way, he broadens the understanding that intelligence is originally constructed from Neuroplasticity.
In his research, Vygotsky investigated the minimum unit for a new Cognitive Psychology that was capable of preserving the basic characteristics of human psychological processes, and in this case, it was mediation. He was the first to propose this, in an attempt to show how men (and even animals) build their reflective foundations. But in this context, man is not restricted to reflexes with stimulus-response, but establishing indirect connections between the stimulation he receives, and the responses he emits through various mediation links. Thus, every voluntary movement or gesture directly involves a perceptive element.
Oliveira (1997) also describes the Vygotskian concept of mediation, which is the process of intervention of an element that performs an intermediation, making the relationship go from direct to mediated by this element. Thus, Vygotsky (apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) believed that man’s relationship with the world would be a mediated relationship.
An example of the abyss of vision between Vygotsky (2000) and Piaget (1994; 1999; LA TAILLE et al., 1992, apud ABREU, 2015), is that the latter stated that children in the concrete operational period (between 10 and 12 years old) they make classifications and perform various operations such as addition, subtraction and others, but they do not have complex capacity. However, this is known to occur with 4-year-olds, despite not performing complex operations. Today, it is understood that effectively his theory that the individual only learns what he is prepared to assimilate is not valid. A person can learn anything; the educational process is different.
Even during the Vygotsky tests (2000; LA TAILLE et al., 1992, apud ABREU, 2015) at that time in Russia, he had already collected different information from Piaget (1994; 1999; LA TAILLE et al., 1992, apud ABREU, 2015), and very similar to today’s standards. This occurred because the reality of experience of Vygotsky’s children was significantly different from those evaluated by Piaget, as explained above. Therefore, unlike Piaget, Vygotsky spoke of a historical and cultural process, and that the influence of the environment makes all the difference in the individual’s response. The environment will create the emotional and behavioral marker.
In addition, Vygotsky (2000) believed that the more an individual interacted with other subjects (especially older ones), he would learn more. This would be the fundamental basis for reaching higher mental functions. The ability to elevate thought would be processed naturally through mediation with an adult, enabling not only cognitive evolution, but also abstraction and intellect. Therefore, the subject would be able to proceed with the construction and evolution of thought, interpretation, consciousness and memory, all these processes that constitute human development.
The initial hypotheses of this study were derived from Vygotsky’s (2000) experiments on memory through the construction of the thought and language of individuals in childhood in front of tests, with the game of forbidden colors and their justifications. And it was from this assumption of perception before the world (or in this case, the proposed tests) that the hypotheses were effectively structured. The work itself already precipitated a series of hypotheses established in memory performance, but which were segmented into four principles: task application, age group, relationships and task execution.
The first hypothesis had two aspects in relation to the different conditions of application of tasks and the aid of tools. One was that the child’s memory would show variation in performance under different conditions, while the other suggested that there would be an improvement in performance from the aid and use of resource tools (and in the case of this study, the game material).
The second hypothesis focused on the age group of the child, creating two variations. The responses of children with different ages could be different, indicating an evolution of performance among these individuals. Another issue was that depending on the age group, the child could perform better.
The third hypothesis was based on the relationships between a child and an adult during an activity, also splitting into two possibilities. The child would act if he did not get help from an adult when faced with the challenge of performing a task. However, this performance could improve with the help of an instructor (a mediator).
The fourth hypothesis was formatted in the execution of tasks presented. Certain children could use some linguistic strategy (or not) to reinforce memory during the proposed activity.
This article was based on the presentation of three sequences of the test of the game of forbidden colors, having as subjects for sampling observation, individuals in childhood (must be, in principle, between 4 and 9 years old). As the main focus, the observation and listening of responses for comparative results between these subjects and Vygotsky’s theory (2000) which is based on the evolutionary process of the child’s elementary and superior mental functions. In addition, analysis of how the performance of memory would work in the evolution of thought and language of a subject through its growth. These methodological assumptions are based on the author’s own concept of analysis, and relative to behavioral investigation precipitated by minimal measurement to understand how individuals build their reflexive bases and perception, and their connections with a mediator.
Therefore, the instructions on the game had the following initial assumptions: the game consists of asking the child to answer a set of questions related to colors, following two types of instructions: not to mention two colors established at the beginning as prohibited; do not repeat colors that have already been mentioned in the course of the task. Whoever strictly obeys the two rules above wins the game: answer the eighteen questions without mentioning the forbidden colors and without repeating the colors already spoken. The child should be instructed to answer ‘I cannot speak that color’, for situations in which it is prohibited or repeated. The three tasks must be applied individually at once.
It is important to point out that children would need to show understanding of the rules of the game and knowledge of the proposed colors.
Four children (two 6-year-olds and two 8-year-olds) were analyzed within their residential environments so that it could be observed whether there was any modification and variation in thinking, as well as alteration of speech in the contexts of four children principles such as task application, age group, relationships and task execution. These parameters would serve as a comparative basis with the observations of Vygotsky (2000).
Each child should respect a procedure for conducting stages of each test conducted by a student of the Psychology team. This child should have knowledge of the proposed colors and understanding of the rules of the game, as mentioned above.
Children of different genders, with similar socioeconomic level, within the same social class profile, were presented with three stages of the test called the game of forbidden colors and observed in their reactions and responses to each activity. The individuals were analyzed in September and October 2019, in their homes, living in the city of São Paulo.
2.1.1 ANALYSIS BY OBSERVATION
The observational research was carried out on two weekends: a Sunday in September, and a single Sunday in October 2019, in the children’s homes.
The intention was to observe the physical reaction and speech of the children after the presentation of three tasks of the game of forbidden colors. In addition, the previous introductory orientation conversation (and with a script) was considered. Behavioral and discursive observations occurred throughout the evaluation.
2.1.2 ANALYSIS BY INTERVIEW
Four individuals of both sexes, two 6-year-old children and two 8-year-old children, were interviewed through a semi-open questionnaire, as a qualitative research in three stages, each stage consisted of nineteen questions.
In the first task without cards and without help: the first rule had yellow and green as prohibited colors. As a second rule, the child could not repeat the colors. Nineteen questions were asked in total.
In the application of the second task with cards and without help: the first rule presented blue and red as prohibited colors. As a second rule, the child could not repeat the colors. Nineteen questions were asked in total.
In the third task with cards and with help: the first rule had brown and orange as prohibited colors. As a second rule, the child could not repeat the colors. Nineteen questions were asked in total.
It is necessary to emphasize that before the application of the introductory script, the children received guidance on the rules of the game.
2.2 MATERIALS USED
To use the three Vygotskian tests, the following materials were used: eight cards in different colors in blue, red, green, yellow, orange, brown, white and black. Colored toys: blue, green, orange, yellow and brown (in this case, the group used modeling clay, and produced balls with these colors). Colored bladders in green and blue; colored pencils in blue, green, yellow, orange and black; black pen; blue rubber; brown bag; white scarf; red box; red folder. A script with the questions previously established in the Psychology course’s lesson plan by the professor responsible for the discipline of this experiment.
In addition to the specific material (already mentioned), a ballpoint pen and a sheet of A4 paper with the action direction script were available to the university students who applied the tests, also being used for brief notes of possible speeches of the assessed minors. Likewise, the cell phone was used for the audio recording of the research process with the children and subsequent transcription.
Other extra (and indirect) materials were used, such as texts by Vygotsky (2000), and having Maluf and Mozzer (2019), Oliveira (1997), La Taille; Oliveira and Dantas (1992), Jean Piaget (1994; 1999) and Abreu (2015) with theoretical support for understanding the processes and content for the feasibility of observations.
2.3 GAME PROCEDURES
The analysis was based on three tests with four different children. After examining the observations, the results made it possible to confirm or refute the initial hypotheses.
During a meeting, three tasks (with the game of forbidden colors) followed one another with meticulous procedures. The applicator proposed a game to the child, advising that she should answer some questions and obey two instructions that would be given. In the same way, the child received the information that he would only win the game if he did not make any mistakes. Therefore, the individuals received previous procedure instructions and the applicator observed the reactions and speeches of the observed child.
The group of university students received a preliminary script so that the conduct guidelines of the individuals would be judiciously the same in both tests. Only their reactions and responses could be differentiated. In the same way, the procedure of stages of the game in the three tasks was also punctually passed on in the lesson plan, as shown below:
- TASK 1 – Game without auxiliary cards and without help from researchers. Answer a total of 18 questions without repeating colors or speaking the two prohibited colors.
- TASK 2 – Game with auxiliary cards and without the help of the researchers. The rules are the same as in task 1; however, it provides the child with 8 colored cards that they can use however they wish. Signal to the child that the cards can help them win the game.
- TASK 3 – Game with auxiliary cards and with the help of researchers. The researchers suggest using the cards for the purpose of winning the game and show the child, for example, how to flip the card to the corresponding color as each one is mentioned. Between one question and another, other questions are asked in order not to annoy the child.
3. ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
3.1 CHILD ANALYSIS 1
Child 1 (6 years old): She was nervous. She thought harder to answer the questions. She searched the applicator’s eyes for approval. She used the cards in the second task to separate the prohibited colors, applying them very well to not only separate the prohibited colors in the third task, but also to separate the colors that were mentioned.
The issue of cultural symbolism also showed up at certain times, such as when the child paralleled the liquid made with coffee grounds with a question for the color black. Child 1 (6 years old) used the colored cards as a support in the execution of the second task to separate the prohibited colors.
This younger child had higher error rates (totaling six) compared to child 2 (8 years old), for example, he was insecure and sought the support of the adult who accompanied him in the execution of the activity. It should be noted here that the children’s results are not being compared with a competitive purpose, but as a parameter for the relationship with the studies of Vygotsky (2000) as a tool of the importance of the mediator in the development process. This author believed that the more an individual interacted with other subjects, especially the older ones, he would learn more. This would be the fundamental basis for reaching higher mental functions. The ability to elevate thought would be processed naturally through mediation with an adult, enabling not only cognitive evolution, but also abstraction and intellect. Therefore, the subject would be able to continue the construction and evolution of thought, interpretation, consciousness and memory; all these processes that constitute human development.
Therefore, an observation opens up here: although the younger child (6 years old) was nervous in the first task – which led to the constant need for approval from the applicator and also to many more mistakes than the older child -, she showed considerable evolution when she realized that she had both the support of tools (signs) to perform the tasks, as well as the confidence and tranquility that the mediator transmitted to her (even without helping her in the activity). This made, for example, child 1 surpass child 2 (which will be shown below), because in the steps in which the eldest did not make any mistakes, child 1 made a mistake only once and in task 2, and where the child 2 made two mistakes, child 1 did not make any mistakes (task 3). This may have occurred because child 2 already had a confident posture and perhaps imagined being able to meet the challenge without the help of the adult. Child 1, on the other hand, needed support, and, given the certainty of support from instruments and a person to perform the unknown, he surpassed the indices in evolutionary ascendancy of results, even though he still made more mistakes (due to the first task).
Oliveira (1997) reinforces Vygotsky’s (2000; apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) understanding that superior would be the act of a subject thinking about absent objects, planning something that has not yet happened, organizing an imaginary event. Anything that makes you use your imagination. Therefore, his understanding was that the development of thought and learning were beyond the age issue proposed by Piaget (1994; 1999; apud VYGOTSKY, 2000), but these processes were functionally based: “Thought is not expressed in words, but it takes place there.” (VYGOTSKY, 2000, p. 409)
Occupying a place of such importance in the work of Vygotsky (2000; apud OLIVEIRA, 1997), the development of language and all its interaction in the group of this system, it can be observed that he worked with two basic functions. The first function is called social exchange, the function that allows a subject to be able to communicate with another, creating the language system: the signs, and which in the case of this article, was achieved through cards by children. Thus, one can understand the importance of understanding the signs, and that they end up translating different things between themselves, such as feelings, wills and thoughts.
Essa função é bem visível no bebê que está começando a aprender a falar: ele não sabe ainda articular palavras, nem é capaz de compreender o significado preciso das palavras utilizadas pelos adultos, mas consegue comunicar seus desejos e seus estados emocionais aos outros através de sons, gestos e expressões. É a necessidade de comunicação que impulsiona, inicialmente, o desenvolvimento da linguagem. (OLIVEIRA, 1997, p. 42)
In the second function, there is generalizing thinking, which defines what is real, separating objects, events and situations into categories.
É essa função de pensamento generalizante que torna a linguagem um instrumento de pensamento: a linguagem fornece os conceitos e as formas de organização do real que constituem a mediação entre o sujeito e o objeto de conhecimento. A compreensão das relações entre pensamento e linguagem é, pois, essencial para a compreensão do funcionamento psicológico do ser humano. (OLIVEIRA, 1997, p. 43)
Vygotsky (2000) described that the child, in turn, goes through all these processes until he/she manages to develop, even before mastering these phases – remembering that Piaget (1994; 1999; apud VYGOTSKY, 2000) considered this phase of the child as a motor sensor, she uses other forms of verbal manifestations, such as crying and smiling, which interact in a social way. In this way, the interaction with other people has a more structured and developed language that “is what will provoke the qualitative leap towards verbal thinking” (OLIVEIRA, 1997, p. 47). This elaborate thought-guidance is what gives words meaning. Therefore, in Vygotsky’s studies (2000; apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) on language and thought, the meaning of words can be considered as a key and main function to understand these concepts.
According to Vygotsky (2000), the construction of memory and thought would be done semantically, that is, in phases to achieve a whole. In the same way, the thoughts initially generated by a child would be a confused agglomeration, and he would gradually break it down into parts, thus creating language units for the absorption of small gradual steps. Therefore, thought would not be an expression, but would be realized in the word.
Comparing his observations with Piaget (1994; 1999; apud VYGOTSKY, 2000) and other Psychology theorists, Vygotsky (2000) explains that the sound structure would be understood by the child as part of an object, and therefore, would have intrinsic properties. At this point, one enters into egocentrism according to Vygotsky. During the research process, child 1 presented self-inquiry behavior that would be in accordance with the egocentric behavior according to this author.
In this context, child 1 used a linguistic strategy to reinforce memory during the proposed activity. As a resource, in the application of the first task, he closed his eyes, as if he were mentally visualizing the object or being that was asked. Then she used the cards as a visual support, because with each question, she looked at the cards before answering, as well as seeking the support of the mediator.
Vygotsky (2000) describes in detail that the development of egocentrism would present a gradual extinction in the course of the subject’s socialization. However, the proportional inverse, that is, its timeless continuity, would come from the lack of socialization. It was at that moment that the scholar understood the depth and impact that social relationships from an early age would bring to the development of the individual, and later intensified in the face of interactions with other individuals in the school environment. Egocentrism would thus have a direct association with thought, social processes to reach the internal processes that would lead to higher psychological functions.
(…) o desenvolvimento da linguagem egocêntrica segue uma curva descendente, cujo ponto culminante está situado no início do desenvolvimento e decresce até chegar a zero no limiar da idade escolar. Assim, pode-se afirmar sobre o egocentrismo o que List disse sobre os meninos prodígios: seu futuro está no passado. Essa linguagem não tem futuro. Não surge nem se desenvolve com a criança, mas se atrofia e se extingue, sendo antes um processo involutivo por natureza que evolutivo. Se, deste modo, o desenvolvimento da linguagem egocêntrica se realiza por uma curva em contínua extinção, é natural que, em cada etapa do desenvolvimento da criança, essa linguagem deriva da insuficiente socialização da linguagem infantil, inicialmente individual, sendo expressão direta do grau dessa insuficiência de socialização.
Segundo uma teoria oposta, a linguagem egocêntrica da criança é uma das manifestações da transição das funções interpsicológicas para as intrapsicológicas, isto é, das formas de atividade social coletiva da criança para as funções individuais. Essa transição é uma lei geral – como mostramos em um dos nossos estudos anteriores (40, pp. 483 ss.) – do desenvolvimento das funções psíquicas superiores, que surgem inicialmente como formas de atividade em colaboração e só depois são transferidas pela criança para o campo das suas formas psicológicas de atividade. A linguagem para si surge pela diferenciação da função inicialmente social da linguagem para outros. A estrada real do desenvolvimento da criança não é a socialização gradual introduzida de fora, mas a individualização gradual que surge com base na sociabilidade interior da criança. Em função disto modificam-se também as nossas concepções sobre a estrutura, a função e o destino da linguagem egocêntrica. Achamos que sua estrutura se desenvolve paralelamente ao isolamento das suas funções e em conformidade com essas funções. Noutros termos, ao adquirir uma nova função, a linguagem naturalmente se transforma também em sua estrutura, em consonância com as novas funções. Adiante analisaremos detalhadamente essas peculiaridades estruturais. (VYGOTSKY, 2000, p. 429-430)
Therefore, and as seen in this quote, Vygotsky (2000) scaled the understanding that it would be the initial social relationships that collaborate for the interpsychic organization of the individual, that is, internal. This would initially be achieved with the mediation of caregivers close to the child, and consequently, would naturally lead to the process of intrapsychic organization, which would effectively be the moment that the child would learn through the internalization of language. These united factors would be responsible for the achievement of higher mental functions, generating such maturity and understanding that the individual is able to coordinate and elaborate mathematical calculations, interpretation of texts, logic and other things that start around 6 or 7 years old, age compatible with individual 1 analyzed in this article.
To put it another way, the qualitative leap for the child’s verbal thinking would lead to another important point reached gradually, which is this inner speech. In this internal form of language, different from external speech, the interior is more concentrated within itself, as if it were an internal dialogue, a personal dialogue. What Vygotsky (2000; apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) defines as a social, intrapsychic and intrapsychic path for activities that are carried out individually. Therefore, the search for approval and conduction of the mediator through the personification of the applicator of the game for child 1, would be in accordance with this construction by Vygotsky (2000) and which would culminate in egocentric speech as immensely important for understanding at this stage.
The development process of the human being is marked by occurring from the outside to the inside, causing the subject to make some external achievements first, and then internal ones. External relations have the context of being interpreted by people who are in their daily life, adding to the meanings acquired culturally. Subsequently, the individual is able to assign new meanings and have their own findings, and evolve in the process of their development. This would be the basis of the origin of social relations. Thus, child 1 showed (even in a short space of time) the need for such support through signs of memory reinforcement (by cards) to carry out a requested behavior (in this case, the operation of a game), but, very more of the mediator to guide you safely through this process, and sometimes, just with your presence. By making sure that he had both supports, he apparently had enough confidence to get out of his initial state of insecurity, taking a path without so many mistakes.
3.2 CHILD ANALYSIS 2
Child 2 (8 years old): The child was very confident. She asked pertinent and different questions, such as, when she said, in the first application of the game, that she could not speak either yellow or green, she asked: Why?
Child 2 (8 years old) also made use of her cultural symbolism when asked what the color of the coffee was, responding that it was brown, alluding to the powder. In addition, it is curious to highlight her questions such as: what is the color of the earth, answer with another question: Is earth a planet or earth, earth? And she had trouble remembering the color of the vulture. She gave the impression that, as she never saw it (or saw it infrequently), she couldn’t tell what color the bird was. It could be seen that all this is intrinsically linked with the symbolism that the child attributes through mediation.
She also had a concern about not making mistakes. The cards were only used to signal colors she couldn’t speak. The child separated them from the others and looked at them whenever he heard a question. She didn’t use them to signal colors that had already been said, even though she knew she could. Another point that was detected is that this older child appropriated more of the help and use of resource tools (and in this case, the game material), improving their performance (in the sense of presenting more confidence in themselves) in relation to to younger children who sought help from the applicator. Thus, she acted and interacted without the help of the applicator when performing the tasks, using more of the signs (external, demarcated by the colored cards) and less of the mediator.
Analyzing Vygotsky’s (2000) research conducts, it can be seen that he understands that new relationships through signs are potentially structured through the manifestation of speech itself, writing and reading, and numerical systems. His socio-historical theory would be based and structured from this memory process, being achieved only with the child’s interaction with other adult individuals (the mediators). The exchange of relationships in the bonding process and actions would be the mainsprings in this conduct, including a more autonomous behavior.
Maluf and Mozzer (2019) presented a study with similar purposes to the original work of the team that prepared this article, and the authors applied the game of forbidden colors to 40 preschool children, between 5 and 7 years old. In their initial surveys, they add that Vygotsky (apud MALUF and MOZZER, 2019, p. 63) called the social origins of mediated memory the fact that he identified two types of memory. The first genre is natural memory, which would be the retention of real experiences through external stimuli. The second class would be presented with different characteristics from the use of signs, that is, they would be culturally produced to operate the signs. Both memory categories would change the subject’s psychological structure and result from social development.
These authors agree with Vygotsky (2000) that operations with signs require from the individual a link between stimulus and response, which would make this process operate not only in the medium, but directly in the subject. Furthermore, they reinforce:
As operações com signo são básicas em todos os processos psicológicos superiores, conduzindo os humanos a uma estrutura específica de comportamento, que rompem com o desenvolvimento biológico criando novas formas de processos psicológicos baseados na cultura”. (MALUF e MOZZER, 2019, p. 64)
Marta Oliveira (1997) reinforces that signs, also known as instruments of mental phenomena, are tools that help to develop psychological processes, helping man in his cognitive functions that need attention or memory.
São inúmeras as formas de utilizar signos como instrumentos que auxiliam no desempenho de atividades psicológicas. Fazer uma lista de compras por escrito, utilizar um mapa para encontrar determinado local, fazer um diagrama para orientar a construção de um objeto. (OLIVEIRA, 1997, p. 30)
The author explains a little about the symbolic systems and the internalization process. According to her, two qualitative changes occur with the use of signs after human evolution and the development of man.
Por um lado, a utilização de marcas externas vai se transformar em processos internos de mediação; esse mecanismo é chamado por Vygotsky de processo de internalização. Por outro lado, são desenvolvidos sistemas simbólicos, que organizam os signos em estruturas complementares e articuladas. (OLIVEIRA, 1997, p. 36)
The author describes that during the process of life and development, the individual will no longer need external marks, and starts to give more importance to the use of internal signs, having a representation starting from the ludic, from the imaginary, to the objects of the real world. That is, child 2 would be presenting this driving process more clearly. His confidence in himself, abandoning the support of the mediator would cause more mistakes, but in return, attempts to get it right and take action. Remembering that the system of representations of the real is conceived by society, culture and experiences – in which an idea will be formed and psychological instruments will be built from there, performing the mediation between man and the world.
Vygotsky (2000, apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) deeply discusses the development of man in his works, calling this process a genetic approach. He sought to understand the origin of all the psychological processes that the individual goes through. Unlike other renowned psychologists, Vygotsky preferred to add reflections and research data on aspects of development, emphasizing the importance of learning processes, which, according to him, is the resource that awakens the internal evolutionary contents that remain contained.
Podemos pensar, por exemplo, num indivíduo que vive num grupo cultural isolado que não dispõe de um sistema de escrita. Se continuar isolado nesse meio cultural que desconhece a escrita, esse indivíduo jamais será alfabetizado. Isto é, só o processo de aprendizado da leitura e da escrita (desencadeado num determinado ambiente socio-cultural onde isso seja possível) é que poderia despertar os processos de desenvolvimento interno do indivíduo que permitiria a aquisição da leitura e da escrita. (OLIVEIRA, 1997, p. 56)
Oliveira (1997) finds that this process depends a lot on the conditions and environment in which the subject lives, as this influences all aspects of the life of a child who will soon be an adult. The author also reinforces the concept of zone of proximal development, explaining that it is nothing more than a clear understanding of developmental relationship ideas. But the concept of zone of proximal development goes further.
Returning to the child’s development processes, Oliveira (1997) explains that it can be observed that when the infant becomes capable of producing some activity, an action without the help of another person, be it a friend, teacher or parents. This reinforces, therefore, the behavior of child 2 in acting for himself, showing confidence in not feeling the need for the mediator, and using only the instruments that were offered to him.
In this context, child 2 (as well as child 1) used a linguistic strategy to reinforce memory during the proposed activity. As a resource, she used, in the application of the first task, to close her eyes, as if she were mentally visualizing the object or being that was asked. Then with the cards, she used them as a visual support, because with each question, she looked at the cards before answering, however, without seeking support from the applicator.
Oliveira (1997) explains that when a child has mastered, for example, the movement of tying the shoelace and is able to make the bow alone, this phase is called the real developmental level, which is about being able to perform tasks independently. It is also interesting to observe the level of potential development, which is the ability to perform tasks with the help of another person, and, in this way, he benefits from the help of the next person who has more capacity. However, this depends a lot on the stage and age that the child is.
Vygotsky (2000, apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) attaches great importance to social interaction that needs to be included in the process of building psychological functions. Precisely for this reason, the studies carried out by this author established a great connection between the development process and the individual’s relationship with his sociocultural environment. Therefore, the school plays an essential and very important role in the psychological development of the child, as learning and social interaction drive this progress.
Vygotsky (2000; Apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) emphasizes the role of intervention in development, but his main objective was to work on the importance of the cultural environment and human relationships in his development, being essential in his view, individual consciousness and subjective aspects. Therefore, such self-confidence shown in child 2 may perhaps be justified by the social interactions that she possibly has.
3.3 CHILD ANALYSIS 3
Child 3 (6 years): In task 1, child 3 felt that he had won the game, because he got it right, despite having made three mistakes. In task 2, she said that she could not tell the color of the toy (yellow), and made a mistake. She felt she had lost, as she confused the color of the toy with a color from the past task. In task 3, she felt she had won and said she couldn’t have done anything wrong (although she did make a mistake).
The child seemed to have fun with the test, he was curious to know why he could not speak the colors and why those colors would be chosen. She was also a little confused at times, making some mistakes for not remembering the color that shouldn’t be said, or for being confused with the color of the previous task. She made use of the cards in an organized way and managed to make good use of the answers, but took the test more as a joke than an evaluation.
Before answering, the child used the interjection: “um”, as a way of showing what she was thinking. At the end of each answer, she added the expression: right, as a form of approval. All this egocentric chain would have the role not only of intellectual conductor, but also, according to Vygotsky (2000), of potentiating self-awareness, and even in overcoming difficulties and obstacles, and elaborating reflective thoughts. Egocentrism for this author would be an evolutionary process of ascension, and therefore, increasing and would not decline, contrary to what Piaget said (1994; 1999, apud VYGOTSKY, 2000).
The little infante also managed to organize the cards well in order to help answer the questions, but he got in the way at times when they were repeated colors. On some occasions, he suggested colors that didn’t really make up the object, but what he saw it to be. Thus, the child’s reaction is consistent with what Vygotsky (2000) states, for example, that thought and language are interdependent processes. He also stated that intelligence is something that can be developed and built from man’s relationships with the environment. In this way, he broadens the understanding that intelligence is something originally constructed from Neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the nervous system to change itself in structural form from new experiences and learning. (ABREU, 2015)
É no significado que se encontra a unidade das duas funções básicas da linguagem: o intercâmbio social e o pensamento generalizante. São os significados que vão propiciar a mediação simbólica entre o indivíduo e o mundo real, constituindo-se no ‘filtro’ através do qual o indivíduo é capaz de compreender o mundo e agir sobre ele. (VYGOTSKY, p. 104, apud LA TAILLE; OLIVEIRA e DANTAS, 1992, p. 81)
In his research, Vygotsky (2000) investigated the minimum unit for a new Cognitive Psychology that was capable of preserving the basic characteristics of human psychological processes, which in this case was mediation. He was the first to propose this, trying to demonstrate how men (and even animals) build their reflective foundations. But in this context, man is not restricted only to reflexes with stimulus-response, but establishing indirect connections between the stimulation he receives, and the responses he emits through various links of mediation. Thus, every voluntary movement or gesture directly involves a perceptive element.
Oliveira (1997) also describes the Vygotskian concept of mediation, which is the process of intervention of an element that performs an intermediation, making the relationship go from direct to mediated by this element. Thus, Vygotsky (2000, apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) believed that man’s relationship with the world would be a mediated relationship.
The functioning of instruments for the development of man (eg work) can be understood in the next quote. In this case, man earns his living and interacts with society, creating an action that unites man and nature that drives the origin of culture and the history of the species.
O instrumento é um elemento interposto entre o trabalhador e o objeto de seu trabalho, ampliando as possibilidades de transformação da natureza. O machado, por exemplo, corta mais e melhor que a mão humana; a vasilha permite armazenamento de água. O instrumento é feito ou buscado especialmente para um certo objetivo. (OLIVEIRA, 1997, p. 29)
It is important to emphasize that animals also make use of the instrument, but in a different way from man. As much as it has a relationship mediated by an instrument, Vygotsky (2000, apud OLIVEIRA, 1997) considers this process differently from the way of men. Thus, this child 3 also corresponded to the expectations that support the theorization of Vygotsky (2000) and Oliveira (1997).
3.4 CHILD ANALYSIS 4
Child 4 (8 years old): Child 4 answered the questions safely, used the cards to help in an organized and concrete way, and unlike child 3 who seemed to understand the test more as a game, child 4 (who is more old woman) took it as something more serious.
This child also showed curiosity and anxiety about the results of how he would do and what the end of the test would be like, that is, he showed curiosity to understand what the purpose of the test was. She also responded more confidently, without thinking too much or needing the approval of the mediator (the applicator). In addition, the concern of not making mistakes and getting to the end of each stage, stating that they had managed to win, was present. When this objective was not achieved, he had disappointment in his eyes (and this also occurred with child 3). Some things were noticeable that she didn’t know the color for sure, even so she took a risk, for example, when talking about the color of the vulture.
The team did not add any more theorizing notes here to this article, since this child also reinforces the behaviors of the previous minors, signaled by basis from the perspective of Vygotsky (2000) that also allowed the analysis of the individual 4 compatible with the theorization.
4. FINAL CONSIDERATIONS
Vygotsky’s (2000) enormous contribution to child development is very tangible. Furthermore, this author’s propositions denote that he was more than a scientist: he was a poet in love with humanity.
His concern in redoing Piaget’s research (1994; 1999, apud VYGOTSKY, 2000), made possible an investigative method for a new perception of how the development of thought and language were codified, and culminated in a review of the understanding of how the human being it would build its own conscience and its space as a social being.
The team’s guiding question of how the performance of memory works in the evolution of a child’s thinking and language, through their growth from Vygotsky’s perspective, was answered. The group was able to verify the child’s ability to use instruments and cultural signs, and that these are effectively used as aids in memory in games. Likewise, from the proposal of the three game situations to assess the physical and intellectual development of children, it was possible to observe the existence and frequency of egocentric speech used by the little ones in an attempt to direct and organize their actions, as well as the child’s ability to memorize instructions.
The creation of the three stages of the game of forbidden colors, and trying to recreate the microcosm for conducting tests that guided Vygotsky’s research (2000) was productive. The procedure was relevant for the study group to be able, through observations and listening to the children, to identify whether their reactions would be in accordance with what the author relates to the moment and processes that the child is in, as well as how this would impact on the development of memory. Thus, the assumptions of hypotheses focused on memory performance, and segmented into four principles – task application, age group, relationships and task execution – were confirmed.
The first hypothesis had two aspects in relation to the different conditions of application of tasks and the aid of tools. Children showed variation in memory performance under different conditions (when changing tasks), while in the task in which one child did not make any mistakes, the other presented some errors. It was also found that the older child appropriated more of the help and use of resource tools, improving their performance in relation to the younger child who sought help from the applicator.
The second hypothesis focused on the age group of the child, creating two variations. The responses of children with different ages proved to be effectively differentiated, indicating an evolution of performance between them, and thus the oldest, with a greater social burden, was more successful in the tasks and without support from the applicator. The responses of children of different ages were uneven among these individuals. Thus, the variation in development between the two individuals observed was clear, but above all the need for support from the mediator in the face of a challenge. The younger the child’s age group, the more support they sought both to fulfill the proposed objective and to self-affirmation of confidence in what they were doing, a fact that was analogous to the third hypothesis.
This third hypothesis was based on the relationships between a child and an adult during an activity, also splitting into two possibilities. Children 2 and 4, who are older, acted and interacted without the help of the applicators when performing the tasks. However, the same did not occur with children younger than 6 years old, as they were insecure and sought the support of adults who accompanied them in carrying out the activity. However, an observation opens up here: despite the younger child 1 (6 years old) having been nervous in the first task, which led to constant approval from the applicator and also in many more errors than the older child, he presented considerable evolution when realizing that she had both the support of tools to perform the tasks, and the confidence and tranquility that the mediator conveyed to her (even without helping her in the activity). This made child 1 outperform children 2 and 4 (8 years old), because in the activities in which the older ones did not make any mistakes, child 1 made a mistake only once, task 2, and when child 2 made mistakes twice , child 1 did not make a mistake (task 3). This may have occurred because child 2 (like child 4) already had a confident posture and perhaps imagined being able to fulfill the challenge without the help of the adult. On the other hand, child 1 (like child 3, also 6 years old) had the need for support, and given the certainty of the support of instruments and an adult to perform the unknown task, they surpassed the indices in evolutionary ascendancy of results, even though they still had made more mistakes (due to the first task).
Regarding the execution of tasks presented, the children used a linguistic strategy to reinforce memory during the proposed activity. Both used as a resource, in the application of the first task, closing their eyes, as if they were mentally visualizing the object or being that they were asked. Then with the cards, both used them as a visual support, because for each question, they looked at the cards, before answering.
Therefore, the team of this article understood that children and their behaviors would be corroborating the experiments of Maluf and Mozzer (2019) and their statement that the older the child, the fewer errors and more security he would present when carrying out an action. Also, Vygotsky’s (2000) theorization was also reinforced, which affirms this conduction, and, thus, supporting the thesis that the mediator would be important in the process of socialization and transformation in the development of the individual. A mention of symbolism and culture is also relevant. The team believes that the differences subtly detected in the children are in the symbolism that each one brings from their sociocultural environment, in this case, with the mediation of an adult.
Observing the four results, it was possible to see that the age difference may have been a preponderant factor for the error reduction outcome. Errors are not the important factor, but observing the initial expression of the youngest in the context of insecurity and the need for support from the applicator, and the change to become effective in a process of self-confidence (to even reduce these errors), was clear. In the same way, the older ones, as they already had experiences that provided them with security, followed by themselves, allowing themselves to make mistakes without so many fears. Therefore, after observing all the reactions of the evaluated children, the group came to the conclusion that the four children apparently fit within what Vygotsky (2000) conceived in his studies about a subject in his/her growth and performance process of life memory in the evolution of thought and language.
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___. Seis estudos de Psicologia. Tradução de Maria Alice Magalhães D’Amorim e Paulo Sérgio Lima da Silva. 24. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Forense Universitária, 1999.
VYGOTSKY, Lev Semenovitch. A construção do pensamento e da linguagem. Tradução de Paulo Bezerra. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2000. Disponível em: <https://edisciplinas.usp.br/pluginfile.php/2477794/mod_resource/content/1/A%20construcao%20do%20pensamento%20e%20da%20linguagem.pdf>. Acesso em: 10 ago. 2019.
 Specialist in Pedagogical Neuroscience from AVM Educacional/UCAM/RJ; specialist in Art Therapy in Education and Health at AVM Educacional/UCAM/RJ; specialist in Behavior and Consumption Research from Faculdade SENAI CETIQT RJ; specialist in Visual Arts from UNESA/RJ; Bachelor in Design from Faculdade SENAI CETIQT RJ. Bachelor in Psychology at UNIP/SP.
 Bachelor in Psychology at UNIP/SP.
 Bachelor in Psychology at UNIP/SP.
 Bachelor in Psychology at UNIP/SP.
 BAcharela in Social Communication from Faculdade Cásper Líbero/SP. Bachelor in Psychology at UNIP/SP.
 Bachelor in Psychology at UNIP/SP.
 Bachelor in Psychology at UNIP/SP.
Sent: July, 2021.
Approved: April, 2022.