Jean Piaget's Influence on Psychology

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Although he identified himself as a genetic epistemologist, Jean Piaget was a psychologist from Switzerland. When he was just eleven years old Piaget started to take steps in starting his research career without even realizing it when he wrote a brief paper over an Albino Sparrow (Bringuier, 1980). He originally studied natural sciences and was involved in the branch of philosophy that was focused on origin, nature and the extents and limits of human knowledge. But as he progressed in his studies he realized that he was also interested in how thought develops and wanted to understand how genetics impacted the process (Mayer, 2005).
Some of Piaget’s earlier psychological work included running intelligence tests on children. By preforming these tests, the results led him to the conclusion that children think differently from adults because at the time it was assumed that children were just smaller adults. Because of this, Piaget began to study cognitive development errors in children (Piaget, 1976). One example of a test he performed was giving a three year old one large mound of clay and one small mound of clay. Next, he would tell the child to make them into two equal mounds. After this, Piaget would break one of the mounds into two smaller mounds and then proceed to question the child on which had more clay. Usually they would say that the one with the two smaller mounds was bigger even though they were equal. But when he repeated the tests on children that were six and seven years of age, they no longer made the error in saying one mound was bigger than the other. These types of errors helped to provide insights that were essential for understanding the mental world of a child (Piaget and Inhelder, 1969). He proposed that there...

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...riod of human development. It is not just a human that happens to be a smaller version of an adult. Seeing that his theories are still being used and tested today is pretty outstanding considering the field study. But it is not just in psychology; his theories are also being studied in education, sociology and genetics as many researchers continue to elaborate on his claims (Piaget, 1976).

Works Cited

Bringuier, J.C. (1980). Conversations with Jean Piaget. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Fischer, & Kurt W., & U Denver. (1980). Psychological Review, Vol 87(6), 477-531.
Mayer, Susan. (2005). A brief biography of Jean Piaget. Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Piaget, J. (1976). Jean Piaget. G. Busino (Ed.). Kindler.
Schater, Daniel. L., & Gilbert, Daniel. T., & Wegner, Daniel. M. (2011). Psychology. Second
Edition. New York, NY: Worth Custom Publishing.
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