Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Essay

3151 Words Dec 16th, 2012 13 Pages
Piaget’s Theory Of Cognitive Development
Jaclyn F. Losquadro
Hunter College, The City Of New York

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is much more than addition of new facts and ideas to an existing store of information. According to Piaget, our thinking processes change radically, though slowly, from birth to maturity because we constantly strive to make sense of our world. He also believed that all people pass through the same four stages (sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational) in the exact same order. These four stages are required for one to gain understanding of his or her world. As a result of Jean Piaget’s early research in Biology, Piaget concluded that all
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Therefore these stages are only general guidelines, not labels for all children of a certain age. Knowing a child’s age is never a guarantee that you know how the child will think. With that said, the first stage as the sensorimotor period begins at birth and usually last until about two years of age (Beins 2012). The sensorimotor period consists of six sub-stages: modification of reflexes, primary circular reactions, secondary circular reactions, coordination of secondary circulatory reactions, tertiary circular reactions, and the beginning of representational thought (Beins 2012). The modification of reflexes, birth to approximately 1 month, involves the change of reflexes to make them more adaptive. Not only can the infant demonstrate sucking and rooting capabilities, he or she can show a difference in amount of sucking on new stimuli. For example: the infant sucks differently on his or her mother’s breast versus a dry finger. The infant begins to develop more elaborate reflexes by sucking on objects when placed in the mouth, closing fingers with objects, and turning one’s head towards a noise. The infant is innately curious and initiate’s activity (Miller 2011). As the child reaches around 1-month, he or she approaches what Piaget refers to as primary circular reactions, which lasts until about 4 months. Infants within the primary circular reactions sub-stage show more flexible reflexes than earlier reflexes. They also show trail and error attempts

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