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 pe...
... middle of paper ...
...e of formal operations the person is now able
to think hypothetically
In conclusion Piagets theory of cognitive development is backed up
with the experimental evidence given from experiments run with infants
and children. From birth to the stage of concrete operations the child
is termed egocentric. What Piaget meant by calling young children
egocentrics was that they are not selfish but have not yet attained
the ability to see things from another perspective.
Gleitamn,H.,Fridlund, A.J.,& Reisburg, D. (1999) Psychology, (5th
ed.). New York: W.W.Norton & Co.
Ginsburg,H.P.,Opper,S.(1988) Piagets Theory of intellectual
development,(3rd ed.). London:Prentice Hall International (UK).
Glover, J.A.,et.al.(1949).Educational psychology Principles and
Applications. Boston: Little Brown and Company.
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