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The Sensorimotor Stage of Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

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The theorist, Jean Piaget, was most interested in the development of children’s intellectual organization. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development begins with the sensorimotor stage. Sensorimotor intelligence is thinking by observing objects and acting in response to them. Throughout the stages the child understands that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen which is referred to as object permanence. When a child exhibits a behavior that creates an experience that leads to repetition of the behavior this is known as a circular reaction. (Berk, 2010)
The sensorimotor stage is focused from birth to two years. It is divided into six substages as the infant learns to coordinate their senses and motor skills. The content
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The infant will by accident engage in some form of behavior and if the child finds it enjoyable the child will repeat it. An example is an infant sucking their thumb. It may not have been intentional the first time, but they may repeat the action because it comforted them. At this stage the child learns how to help console themselves. These types of reactions are called primary circular reactions. This stage is about coordinating feelings and new patterns.
The third substage is similar to the second, but it focuses on the external objects not the infant’s own body. Once the primary circular reactions become boring the infant advances to the secondary where they explore with objects. The child is more focused on the world and begins to intentionally repeat an action in order to trigger a response in their environment. (Piaget, Gruber, & Voneche, 1977) The child may shake a rattle, hit a mobile, or drop or throw objects repeatedly. Depending on what they feel about the outcome of their actions the action may or may not be repeated. When a child shakes a rattle and it makes noise that scares them they learn to not repeat that action. If the child knows that by kicking the side of the crib it will make the mobile move they may repeat this action if they enjoy the movement of the mobile.
Once the child is clearly intentional with their actions they have reached substage four. The child develops a sense of anticipation and prediction. This can be done by
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