PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

STAGES Sensorimotor SUB-STAGES *Exercising reflexes (birth to 1 month). ~infants have no understanding of an object. ~reflexes are practiced until they function efficiently. * Primary circular reactions (1-4 months) ~behaviors causing specific events are repeated. ~infants look briefly at where a disappearing object was last seen. * Secondary circular reactions (4-10 months) ~all the senses become co-ordinated, and the infant can foresee events and results of actions *The co-ordination of secondary circular reactions (1012 months) ~they can represent images in their mind ~a goal can be decided and acted on ~a completely hidden object can be found. *Tertiary circular reactions (12-18 months) ~use several interchangeable schemas to achieve goals. ~object hidden under several covers can be found. ~experiments are conducted to see what will happen *Invention of new means through mental combinations (18-24 months) ~thoughts begin to dominate action (they think about a problem before acting.) ~objects can be manipulated mentally to reach goal. DEFINITION This is where infants learn about their world predominantly through their senses (hence sensori) and by doing (hence motor) AGES 0-2 years CHARACTERIZATION *young child develops action schemas- during its first months the child concentrates on instinctive behavior such as grasping and sucking. *preoccupied with self and involves in introverted pastimes. *thinking is dominated by its direct sensory experiences of the immediate environmentchild explores objects and accommodates (changing existing schemas to fit the world) to them. *by the end of this stage the child can use mental symbols to represent objects. EXAMPLES Object Permanence – this develops when a child recognizes that objects continue to exist even when they are no longer visible. If you present a 4-month old child with an eyecatching toy then cover this toy with a pillow, the child would not attempt to search for the toy. Piaget concluded from this that the child does not understand that the toy continues to exist under the pillow; the child expects the object to reappear but does not actively search for it.

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Natalya Ollivierre

PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
STAGES PreOperationa l SUB-STAGES *Pre-conceptual (2-4 years) ~They understand terms such as ‘biggest’ and ‘big’ yet the term ‘bigger’ is difficult to understand *Intuitive substages (47 years) ~relative terms can be used. ~ability to think logically is still limited DEFINITION The child is influenced by the appearance of things rather than by logical concepts. AGES 2-7 years. CHARACTERIZATION * a child should begin talking about objects that aren’t present in its immediate surroundings only after. *these children gradually improve in their use of mental images. *progress in symbolic thought continues. *they are unable to solve conservation problems, (conservation – awareness that physical quantities remain constant in spite of changes. *have difficulty focusing on several aspects of a problem at once. *unable to envision reversing an action –cannot mentally undo something (Irreversibility) *fail to appreciate that there are points of view other that their own, (egocentrism - a limited ability to share another person’s viewpoint) *attribute lifelike human qualities to inanimate objects, a feature of egocentrism called animism – the belief that all things are living EXAMPLE Piage took two identical beakers and fill each with the same amount of water, after a child agreed that the two beakers contained the same amount of water, he poured the water from one of the beakers into a much taller and thinner beaker. He then asked the child whether the two differently shaped beakers still contained the same amount of water. Confronted with a problem like this the preoperational children said ‘no’. They focused on the higher water line in the thinner beaker and insisted that there was more water in the slender beaker.

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Natalya Ollivierre

PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
STAGES Concrete Operational DEFINITION Children in this stage can perform operations only on tangible objects and actual events. AGES 7-11 years. CHARACTERIZATION *beginning of the development of mental characterization. *capable of performing logical operations, but only in the presence of actual objects. *during this stage they master reversibility and decentration (allows the child to focus on more than one feature of a problem simultaneously. *there is a decline in egocentrism and gradual mastery of conservation. *they develop a variety of new problem-solving capacities. *one problem is transitivity tasks e.g. if told that ‘Alan is taller than Bob, and Bob is taller than Charlie’ and asked whether Alan or Charlie is taller, children under 11 cannot solve this problem entirely in their heads. They can usually only solve it using real objects. EXAMPLES Piaget, gave a pre-operational child seven carnations and three daisies, then told the child the names for the two types of flowers and then asked the child to sort them into carnations and daisies. This should be no problem. Then ask the child whether there are more carnations or more daisies. Most children would correctly respond that there are more carnations. Then to ask to ask the child if there are more carnations or more flowers; at this point most pre-operational children would respond incorrectly - that there are more carnations than flowers. Generally pre- operational children can’t handle hierarchical classification problems that require them to focus simultaneous on two levels of classification. The child who has advance to the concrete operational stage is not as limited by centration (hinders the child from focusing on more than one feature of a problem simultaneously) and can work successfully with hierarchical classification problems

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Natalya Ollivierre

PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
STAGES Formal Operational DEFINITION Final steps toward abstract thinking and conceptualization; capable of hypothesis testing. The ability to manipulate ideas and propositions and can reason solely on the basis of verbal statements. AGES 11 years on CHARACTERIZATION *children begin to apply their operations to abstract concepts in addition to concrete objects. *continuation of decentration. *able to imagine and discuss things that have never been encountered *they graduate to relatively adult modes of thinking in this stage. *after children achieve formal operations, further developments in thinking are changes in degree rather than fundamental changes in the nature of thinking. *adolescents at this stage become more systematic in their problem-solving efforts. *has the ability to follow the form of an argument without reference to its particular content for e.g. in transitivity problems. *are more likely to think things through unlike children in earlier developmental stages who attack problems quickly. *they envision possible courses of action and try to use logic to reason out the likely consequences of each possible solution before they act. *thoughts processed in this stage can be though of as abstract, systematic, logical and reflective. EXAMPLES Many adolescents spend lots of time considering theoretical possibilities to concepts such as justice, love, and free will. They can think hypothetically, thus, they can think about what could be as well as what actually is. For e.g. if asked what it would be like if people had tails, persons of the formal operational stage might say ‘Dogs would know when you are happy’ or ‘Lovers could hold their tails in secret under the table’ whereas concrete operational thinkers might tell you ‘not to be so silly’, or ask where on the body the tail might be.

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Natalya Ollivierre

REFERENCES: Davenport P.C. (2000) Essential Psychology, Second Edition. Gross R. (2001) Psychology The Science of Mind and Behaviour, Fourth Edition. London: Hodder and Stoughton Educational. Gross R (2005) Psychology The Science of Mind and Behaviour, Fifth Edition. London: Hodder and Stoughton Educational. Hilgard, Earnest R., Atkinson C. Richard, Atkinson Rita L. (1971) Introduction to Psychology, Fifth Edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc. Weiton W.(2001) Psycholoy Theories and Variations, Fifth Edition. Wadsworth Thomson Learning

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Natalya Ollivierre