Jean piaget cognitive development stages by dr ali
SCHEME OF PRESENTATION
Part 1 introduction
Part 2 Sensory motor Stage (0 – 2 y)
Part 3 Pre Operational Stage (2-7y/) Early
Part 4 Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 12y)
Part 5 Formal operational Stage (12 to 16y)
Part 6 Cognitive Development in adulthood
and old age
Part 7 Application of JPCDT
Jack is Fairer than the Sarah
Jack is darker than Nicola
Who is the darkest?
Q. If the radius of the circle is 2, what is
the area of the square containing it?
Part 1 Introduction
What is cognition
What is development
Who is Jean Piaget
Principles of Jean Piaget’s cognitive
1.1What is Cognition
Cognition means knowing or understanding
Cognition consist of
intelligence, Perceiving, recognizing, recalli
ng, interpreting, reasoning.
Different approaches to cognitive development….
Life Span Approach / Age Changes Shown
in intelligence test score in specific
cognitive processes, - memory and learning
1.2 What is Development
Development is characteristic
changes in behavior that occur as
they progress through lifespan.
Major areas of human
development are ….
Physical Development .
Social Development .
1.3 Who is Jean Piaget (1896 1980)
A Swiss biologist, philosopher
and psychologist .
Developed the most detailed and
comprehensive theory of
cognitive development in 1970s.
He developed many of his ideas
through daily observation of few
subjects usually his 3 children
and a nephew.
Principles of JPCDT
Principles of JPCDT
Principles of JPCDT
Thinking of normal children is not just a
simpler version of thinking of adults. It is
According to JP, combination of assimilation
and accommodation results in adaptive
behavior- development of knowledge.
Third phenomenon that contributes
acquisition of knowledge is –Equilibrium.
Assimilation-modifying one’s environment so
that it fits into one’s already developed way of
thinking and acting.
Accommodation—modifying oneself so as to
fit in with existing characteristic of
Equilibrium – The tendency of the developing
individual to stay in balance intellectually
by filling in gaps in knowledge
by restructuring beliefs when they fail to test
out against reality.
He called his approach as genetic
It focuses on origins
Based on the study of nature and
acquisition of knowledge.
He concentrated upon thought.
Scheme -- is specific way of knowing or
action sequences guided by thought.
Operations– flexible mental actions that
can be combined with one another to
Piaget does not explain in any significant
detail how cognitive development takes
place even at the level of formal operations.
He described relationship between modes
of thinking and age.
His approach reflects close observation
much like that of Darwin.
Part 2 Sensory motor Stage (0 – 2
2.1 Lack of symbols
2.2 achievement of OP
Child merely senses things and act upon
then(sensory motor period)
They are concerned not with thinking about
things but rather with experiencing them
First 2 months-- baby uses inborn reflexes to
interact and accommodate to the external world.
The inborn reflexes are—sucking and grasping.
2—5 months—coordinates activities of own
body and fine senses(Primary circular reaction)
5—9 months—seek out new stimuli in the
environment and begins intentional behavior
(Secondary circular reaction)
9m—1y – uses familiar means to obtains ends
beginning of OP. imitation of novel behavior.
1y – 18m – varies efforts, and discover through
active experimentation. (Tertiary circular
18m—2y— that has been carried through
sensory and motor is increasingly carried on
internally(symbolic thought). Attains OP. Shows
signs of reasoning.
2.1 Lack of symbols
Up to 8 months – do not carry around in
their head the symbols or images of
objects, they have no representational
Eg: when toy is shown, the baby wriggled
with delight. But when it is hidden, she
immediately lost interest.
2.2 Achievement of OP
12m onwards the understanding that an
object continues to exist even when it is
not directly available to the sense.
It marks the end of sensorimotor period.
Eg:When the toy is hidden, baby search
They carry images of rattle, balls, and
other things in their head—perhaps the
beginning of thinking.
2.3 significance of sensorimotor
In the absence of mother a child of
middle of sensorimotor stage searches
for mother.(separation anxiety)
Part 3 Pre Operational Stage (27y) Early childhood
3.1 Concept of ego centrism
3.2 Concept of centration
3.3 Development of Language
It is characterized by unsystemic thinking—
child does not understand the use of symbols
and basic operations.
Children learn without the use of reasoning
Events are not linked by logic( Illogical
Eg: If children drop a glass that then
breaks, they have no sense of cause and effect.
They believe that the glass was ready to
break, not that they broke the glass.
Later in their development, there may be
episodes children suddenly seem to spot the
Reason from particular to
Eg: tea and oranges both are orange color
Events that occur together are thought to
cause one another(Phenomenalistic causality)
Eg: thunder cause lightning, bad thoughts
Fail to recognize operations of chance and
Eg: why do you have a such a long nose
when you are so short
Can name objects, but not class of
Eg: all men are daddy
Unable to think in flexible way that involve
reversibility (Rigid irreversible thinking)
Eg: cannot understand broken bones
amend, blood loss in accident is replaced
The tendency to endow physical events and
objects with life like psychological attributes
such as feelings and emotions (Animistic
Cannot grasps the sameness of an object in
Eg: the same doll in a carriage, a crib or a chair
is perceived to be three different things.
Things are represented in terms of their
Eg: child defines a bike as to ride, a hole to dig
Believe that punishment for bad deed is
Cannot deal with moral dilemmas
Eg: who is more guilty the person who
breaks one dish on purpose, the person who
breaks ten dishes by accident.
Engage in symbolic play.
3.1 concepts of ego centrism
Preoperational thought is characterized by
egocentric thought, because the child is
unaware of others perspective.
Perceptual egocentrism—child do not realize
that other people see things from a view
point different from theirs. (seen in 2—4 age)
Eg: young girl, playing hide and seek, shuts
her eyes and says ―ha ha can’t see me‖
Three mountain test
Cognitive egocentrism—children find it
difficult to understand other people don not
know their thoughts. In communicating with
other children often forget to put themselves
in the role of listener and to adapt their
message to that person.
Eg: they do not listen to a command to be
quiet because their brother has to study
3.2 concept of centration
Preoperational thought also focuses on a single,
striking feature of an object or events, a tendency
Conservation of identity in terms of length, mass,
numbers etc is not present.
Eg: two tall jars, one low wide jar,
Child reasons in terms of dominant perceptual
experience, no operation involved. ( do not use
knowledge in making judgments )
Because they are unable to think in flexible ways
that involve reversibility
3.3 development of language
Gradually, the child’s representational ability
become more sophisticated and most
important children to use language to
communicate ideas to other.
Early object identity concept may be related to
the self identity concept, gender identity.
Eg. Mirror image experiment
Children use a symbol or sign to stand for
something, which starts as playful exercise
Children use a symbol or sign to stand
for something, which starts as playful
exercise (Semiotic function).
3.4 significance of preoperational
Steady unfolding of the child’s intellect occurs by
means of appropriate stimulation in the form of
Orphanage children who are not allowed to play
have decline in cognitive development.
The child’s curiosity is not just a nuisance or
amusing characteristic it is a impetus to
Preoperational child benefit more from role playing
than by verbal description.
Concrete Operational Stage (7 to
4.1 Syllogistic Reasoning
4.2 Concept of Conservation and
It is characterized by appearance of systemic
reasoning—thought process are logical and
But is limited to a child’s area of concrete
experience—real world of objects and events.
They can think clearly about things that are
real, but not very clear about more hypothetical
propositions and also cannot grasp the broad
meaning of abstract concepts such as freedom,
integrity and truth.
They can regulate themselves
They begin to develop a moral sense
and a code of values.
They are able to reason and follow
rules and regulations.
4.1 Syllogical thinking
Logical conclusions are formed from two
Eg: all horses are mammals (premise 1)
All mammals are warm blooded (premise 2)
Therefore all horses are warm blooded
4.2 Concept of conservation
of constants and reversibility
These are characteristic features of operational
Conservational of constants--- is ability to
recognize that although the shape of objects may
change, the objects still maintain or conserve
other characteristics (length, area, mass) that
enable them to be recognized as same.
Reversibility—the capacity to understand the
relation between things, to realize that one things
can turn into another and back again.
Eg: two longer beaker one wide short beaker
with marble with marble child counts and
proves both are same
Other examples—for length, area
Child considers other factors besides the
dominant perceptual experience.
At the end of this stage –child is capable of
reversing the transformation in mind.
Can solve problems that require
classification, ordering and sequencing.
Children can now see things from some
one else’s perspective.
Invention of alternate strategies.
Eg: two ways of getting to the store
Organize the world using hierarchies—a
given thing can fall some where on more
than one dimension at the same time. ( coordination of part-whole hierarchical
Eg: picture of seven people- two adults and
Dimension of people VS non people
Dimension of children Vs adults
Flexible operations allow them to think in
terms of hierarchy involving two dimensions
on broader than the other.
4.2Significance of concrete
Children who become overly invested
in rules may show obsessive
compulsive behavior: children who
resist a code of values often seem
willful and reactive .
Part 5 Formal operational
Stage (12 to 16y)
5.1 Abstract Thinking
5.2 Hypothetical Thinking
5.3 Deduction and induction
5.4 Inter Propositional Logic
5.5 Reflective Thinking
It is the capacity for reasoning apart from
concrete situations—can imagine
possibilities inherent in operation.
Young persons thinking operates in a
formal, highly logical, systematic and
As the formal operations develop, the
adolescent moves beyond conventional
standards of morality toward construction of
his own moral principles.
5.1 Abstract thinking
The general feature of formal operational
thought is ability to think terms of abstract
concepts that link concrete objects or action
e.g. what is the purpose of the law
keeping people from stealing helping people
live in harmony
what they like about their mother—she fixes
me chili she care
abstract thinking is shown by adolescents
interest in variety of issues—philosophy,
religion, ethics and politics
Thinking about how things might be if certain
changes took place. Hence, they will be able to
judge the reasonableness of a purely
hypothetical line of reasoning—can reason
entirely in abstract terms.
Eg. I am glad I don’t like onions, if liked them I
would always be eating them, and I hate onions .
9y -- onions taste awful, onions are aren’t so bad
12y-- if I liked they wouldn’t be unpleasant .
5.3 deduction and induction
Deduction—reasoning from abstract
general principles to specific
hypothesis that follow from these
process of observing a number of
specific events or instances and
inferring an abstract, general
principle to explain those instances
Hypothetical and abstract thinking
make sophisticated deduction and
Deductive reasoning is more
complicated than inductive
5.4 Interpropositional logic
It is the ability to judge whether
propositions are logically connected to
another regardless of whether
propositions are true.
Eg.. all college students are green
Sylvia is a college student
Therefore, Sylvia is green.
5.5 Reflective thinking
The process of evaluating or testing your own reasoning.
It allows the person to be his or her own circle(evaluate from
the perspective of outsider and to find errors and correct
It also make the adolescent a powerful experimenter and
Can reflect on their own and other
person’s thinking, they are susceptible
to self-conscious behavior.
Emergence of skills for dealing with
permutations and combinations
Can grasp the concept of probabilities.
Language is complex
5.6Application of formal
Development depends not only on
maturation but also the task involved
and on environmental stimulation.
Adolescent turmoil result from
normal development coming to grip
with newly acquired abilities to deal
with the unlimited possibilities of the
Part 6 Cognitive Development
in adulthood and old age
6.1 Piagetian perspective in
6.2 Piagetian perspective in old age
6.3 Life span cognitive perspective in
adulthood and old age
6.1 Piagetian perspective in
Reasoning may operate differently in
adults than adolescents.
Adolescents hypothetical reasoning is
playful where as adults put it in the
dimensions of real life (realistic
thinking)--- may be a real advance that
goes beyond formal operations'.
6.2 Piagetian perspective in old
The elderly do not do as well on many
tests as do adolescence and younger
The explanation most Piagetian tests are
designed for children
So ,when training provided they show
Performance can also be hampered by
health problems , educational limitations
and generational differences
6.3life span cognitive
perspective in adultrs and
Intelligence adults in different generations may
differ in their intellectual performance but a given
individual will probably change very little
throughout early and middle adulthood
True intellectual decline before the late fifties are
From late fifties on ,there is often a decline in
abilities that involves speed of response
Beyond 80 , performance declines of some sort
become the rule rather than an exception
Many of the intellectual limitations found in older
adults reflect obsolesce ( generational difference )
Outdated skills that can be upgraded with training
Learning and memory
In old age classical conditioning
Verbal learning declines
Memory performance deficit
especially in encoding and retrieval
In young age , they are creative in fields
where fresh insight is required
Eg: maths, physics
In 40 and after ,fields where thoughtful
synthesis of accumulated knowledge
Eg : philosophy , history and literature
Past 65 , can be a time of real consolidation
Ideas and skills developed over most of a
life time can be brought together to produce
Part 7 Application of JPCDT
7.1 Psychiatric application
7.2 Implications for psychotherapy
7.3 Educational Application
7.4 Extension of Piagets Theory
7.1 In psychiatry
Adults under stress , may regress cognitively
as well as emotionally .
Their thinking can become preoperational
and sometimes animistic
In psychotherapy , increasing emphasis on
the cognitive component of therapeutic
Cognitive approach to therapy focused on
thoughts , including automatic assumptions
,believes , plans , and intentions
Eg: Beck’s cognitive therapy
,developmentally based psychotherapy( by
Stanley Green Span )
7.2 implications for education
1) discover method of education for
2) lecture assigned reading &
For conveying of specific socially
7.3: Extensions of Piagets
Laurence Kohlberg’s stages of morality
James Youniss theory of children’s
concept of other people ( social cognition )
,based on abstractions from interpersonal
Theory of mind
Awareness that others have internal
states and mental representations
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