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Psychology in Daily Life

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Childhood is a vital stage to shape children’s behavior and personality through acquiring various knowledge and ability. According to Piaget’s stage of cognitive development, the growth of children can be classified into four phrases. They are sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational and formal operational stage respectively. Children at different stages will have distinct responses on the same issue based on their cognition and experiences. In the following, my observation from family gathering illustrates the behavioural differences between the children in the two early stages.

In my family, there are two little cousins called Kitty (a 6 month infant) and Joseph (a curious 5 year old boy). They both appeared in the family gathering and I prepared two wrapped presents for them. I laid down the gift on the ground while kitty was playing her doll. Once she realized there is an object on the ground, she crawled slowly towards it and wanted to discover what is that. Babies in sensorimotor stage is easy to have physical interaction with the objects they are interested (David & Katherine, 2010). As she did not know how to deal with the unfamiliar object, she tried to shake, throw and even put it into her mouths. All these reactions are the only thing she know at her stage. After several trials, she still could not open the gift and eventually gave up.

Another present was given to Joseph, who is in pre-operational stage. First, I hid his gift and ask him if he could find it. His curiosity drove him to walk around and search for it. After five minutes, he successfully got the gift but discovered that has been wrapped. Suddenly, he held on a few second and ran towards his mother. Everyone was surprised by his action. Indeed, when he received the present, his long-term memory has been recalled which led him remember his last year birthday present. The older the children grow, the higher chance they can develop their long-term memory (Bauer & Pathman). Therefore, kids at this stage start applying their own experiences and knowledge to deal with their problems. On the other hand, the present was wrapped with colourful wrapping paper and sticky tape which Joseph may not be able to open all. I encouraged Joseph open the gift himself and did not reply on others. Then he tore the edge of the wrapping paper. Unfortunately, the sticky paper is too thick that cannot be tear and he failed to take the gift out. Feeling a bit depressed, he suddenly requested for a scissor. Finally, he successfully used scissor to open the gift and he loved the toy car very much.

When I witnessed the entire process, I believed Kitty and Joseph had different reaction on receiving a gift is because of their maturity. Joseph is older than Kitty so it is logical for Joseph to perform better problem-solving skill. However, after I learnt psychology, I discovered that all human behavior can be explained by psychology theories



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