- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Cognitive Development - Jean Piaget's Theory of Development

Essay by   •  April 3, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,200 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,059 Views

Essay Preview: Cognitive Development - Jean Piaget's Theory of Development

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5


Refers to mental development in the broadest sense including not only intelligence but processes like perceiving, recognising, recalling and interpreting information.

The term cognition means knowing and understanding.


He was perhaps the most foremost figure within the area of cognitive psychology

His work was mainly based on observations and concentrations upon the development of thought in children

Piaget believed that intellectual growth is biologically determined and governed by two processes

Cognitive development is characterised by quantitative, linear changes within a stage of qualitative changes across four major stages

* Sensorimotor

* Preoperational

* Concrete operational

* Formal operational


Piaget believed that children from birth to 18-24months do not think in the same sense that older ones do, rather they are concerned with experiencing things other than thinking about them.

According to Piaget this stage is called Practical Intelligence.

In this stage the child merely senses things and acts upon them


Children at this stage seemingly do not look at things as having any permanent existence apart from their own experience with them, this means they lose interest in an object the moment they do not see it.

e.g. if an adult puts an object in a drawer it continues to exist but babies think otherwise

at this stage the moment an object is out of sight it ceases to exist

eg when a rattle was rattled in front of a 6month old she wriggled with joy but when it was hidden whilst she looked she did not seem to have interest

At the end of the Sensorimotor period a child develops Object Permanence ,the object in which the child is most concerned about is its mother


It is the understanding that an object continuous to exist even when it is out of sight or not directly available

This understanding marks the end of the Sensorimotor period

It is a very important stage for a child because it permits children to represent to themselves objects not immediately present eg a toy rolled under a bed ,child will try to find it, because they now know it still exist even if they cannot see it but in their mind they know that it is there

In order for something to exist in their mind they need to act on it

This change from Sensorimotor to object permanence is perhaps influenced by social influences e.g. child getting upset in the absence of the caregiver, showing object permanence [Coates, Anderson and Harthup]


In this stage the child's representational abilities become sophisticated

Children learn to use language to communicate ideas to others with normal environment stimulation they become social beings i.e. if they are in an environment with normal social activities e.g. mother constantly communicates with child, family is social and interactive

Although by adult standards children still have a deficiency in thinking

During this stage the child still doesn't understand the use of symbols and basic operations

The child is preoperational throughout most of the pre-school years, from 18-years 24months up to six to seven years


Preoperational thought is characterised as egocentrism because child is unaware of other perspectives e.g. Perceptual egocentrism whereby child does not realise that other people view things differently than they do e.g. child playing hide and seek closes their eyes and shouts ha ,can't see me

She thinks she is invisible since she is playing hide and seek


Children fail to understand that others do not know their thoughts

They forget to put themselves in the role of the listener


Child is impressed with how things appear and not how they were made

Aim of the conversation experiment is to discover if a



Download as:   txt (7.9 Kb)   pdf (105.7 Kb)   docx (12.7 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on