Piaget's Cognitive Theory Essay

1080 Words 5 Pages
Psychology

Piaget's Cognitive Theory

Cognitive development is the development of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. Historically, the cognitive development of children has been studied in a variety of ways. The oldest is through intelligence tests. An example of this is the Stanford Binet Intelligence Quotient test. IQ scoring is based on the concept of mental age, according to which the scores of a child of average intelligence match his or her age. IQ tests are widely used in the United States, but they have been criticized for defining intelligence too narrowly. In contrast to the emphasis placed on a child¡¦s natural abilities by
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Not everything can be assimilated into existing schemas, though, and the process of accommodation must be used. In accommodation, existing schemas are modified or new schemas are created to process new information. According to Piaget, cognitive development involves an ongoing attempt to achieve a balance between assimilation and accommodation that he termed equilibration. He formulated a theory that systematically describes and explains how intellect develops. The basis of his theory is the principle that cognitive development occurs in a series of four distinct stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operations, and formal operations.

In the first, or sensorimotor, stage (birth to two years), knowledge is gained primarily through sensory impressions and motor activity. Through these two modes of learning, experienced both separately and in combination, infants gradually learn to control their own bodies and objects in the external world. Toward the end of Piaget¡¦s career, he brought about the idea that action is actually the primary source of knowledge and that perception and language are more secondary roles. He claimed that action is not random, but has organization, as well as logic. Infants from birth to four months however, are incapable of thought and are unable to differentiate themselves from others or from the environment. To infants, objects only exist when they are insight