Piaget's stages of development

What are the 4 stages of development of Piaget?

Piaget's stages of development are four:

  • Sensory motor stage (0 to 2 years)
  • Pre-operational stage (from two to seven years old)
  • Stage of specific operations (from seven to eleven years old)
  • Formal operations stage (from the age of eleven onwards)

These phases, also known as Piaget's stages or stages, were the product of the investigations of the Swiss psychologist and researcher Jean Piaget, who proposed a theory about cognitive development in humans that prevails to this day.

For Piaget, the development of intelligence begins in childhood and has four stages with defined ages and characteristics.

Sensory motor stage (from birth to two years)

It is the phase in which the child begins to interact with the outside world, taking an interest in the stimuli it provides.

Among other outstanding characteristics of this stage of development, the following stand out:

  • Innate ability to distinguish speech from other types of sounds
  • Communication through crying during the first year of life.
  • Pronunciation of first words and short sentences from 12 months.
  • Interest in playful activities that generate sensory reactions (tickling, bright colors, songs or sounds, etc.)
  • Repeating activities, as a way to better understand what is happening in the outside world (repeatedly throwing a toy, pulling a blanket, etc.).

See also Learning.

Pre-operational stage (from two to seven years old)

This stage of cognitive development, characterized by the child's entry into the formal educational system, involves the development of logic and the use of categories to classify objects and reality.

Some events typical of this phase are:

  • First social interactions outside the family context.
  • Expansion of vocabulary (due to social interaction and school learning).
  • Development of empathy and the ability to interpret roles, separating them from reality.
  • Egocentric thinking (focused on your needs).
  • The child is very curious to understand the world, so he often asks the "why" of things.

Specific operations (from seven to eleven years old)

In this phase of development, children begin to learn and practice simple math facts that stimulate their logical thinking (2 + 2 = 4). Other advances can also be seen, such as:

  • Ability to be empathetic (can understand how other people feel).
  • Development of logical thinking in an initial stage.
  • Abstract thinking is undeveloped, which prevents them from understanding complex issues.

See also Childhood.

Formal operations (from the age of eleven onwards)

The last stage of cognitive development is from pre-adolescence to adulthood. In this phase it is possible to notice progress in several aspects:

  • Development of a greater capacity to generate abstract conclusions from logical thinking.
  • Understanding of the existence of ways of thinking different from yours, especially during the first years of adolescence.
  • From this stage of development, children begin to formulate hypotheses for themselves, even about aspects of reality that they still do not know.

See also Stages of human development.

Piaget's theory of cognitive development

In the 19th century, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget proposed a theory that had a great impact on the behavioral sciences. Piaget's theory of cognitive development states that human intelligence has phases with defined characteristics. And that the development of these cognitive abilities begins from the moment of birth.

For Piaget, each stage of development helps to structure the next, which makes the child acquire more and more capacities and abilities, expanding their cognitive capacity in different aspects: sensory experience, language, logical thinking, social interaction, etc.

However, although Piaget's theory of cognitive development describes certain types of progress according to age, it is not a rigid approach, since each child has their own process. Therefore, just because a child does not reach a milestone at a specific age does not mean that they will not reach it later.

The factors that influence cognitive development are multiple, ranging from the infant's thinking scheme, its interaction with the environment and external stimuli, etc. Therefore, there are multiple reasons why a child might lag behind the evolution of their cognitive abilities.

See also:

  • Cognitive development.
  • Cognitive paradigm.
  • Personality theories.

Tags:  Science Expressions-Popular Expressions-In-English