Jean Piaget's Stages Of Cognitive Development

1883 words - 8 pages

Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Very briefly describe Piaget’s stages of cognitive development and
explain what he meant by saying that young children are egocentric.
Use experimental evidence to consider this claim.

Cognitive development is what psychologists talk about when discussing
a child’s intellectual growth. Jean Piaget (1896 to 1980), a Swiss
psychologist developed a theory of cognitive development, which is
still much discussed and critiqued today. Providing a firm building
block to all work done in the study of child development and the
concept that young children are egocentric. Piaget’s stages are
divided into four main steps of cognitive development. Stage one
begins at birth and is completed at approximately two years; this is
called the period of sensorimotor intelligence. Second stage builds on
from the first at the age of about two years, the preoperational
period lasts for five years of the child’s life. From that the child
moves into the Concrete Operations stage, a stage which lasts to the
age of eleven. Finally a child will reach the fourth stage the period
of Formal operations aged eleven plus.

Piagets first stage of intellectual growth, the Sensimotor period can
be split into another six parts, each part can be tested by use of
simple experiments with babies. Object Permanence is understanding
that something any object is there weither or not the person can see
it. For example when we put an object such as a cup down on a table
and turn our back to it, it is rational to state that the cup will
still be exactly where it was left. Piaget’s theory stated that
babies within the Sensimotor period lack the sense, hence would not be
able to make the claim that the cup is still there. The experiment
explaining this theory begins with the experimenter taking a toy from
a child of less than four months and covering it with a cloth while
the infant is watching. What Piaget found was that the baby would
simply loose interest in the toy. Piaget’s findings in this case state
that the baby believes the toy is no longer there because it is away
from sight. For a child aged four to eight months the experiment
develops to be a little more complex. We can make the experiment more
complex because the child will now have improved control of vision,
this means it has the capacity to follow an object with its eyes and
when movement ceases it can fixate. Now if the experimenter moved the
toy from baby’s sight it will search for its whereabouts. Still the
child does not know to lift the experimenter’s cloth in order to
reveal the toy. Even if the toy is within the child’s grasp, the child
will react by looking around almost bedazzled and in some instances
drop the toy. A stage three sensimotor infant was describe by Piaget
as seeing the toy without “enduring...

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