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Kendra Cherry

Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

By August 29, 2013

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Piaget's stages describe the cognitive development of children

Jean Piaget's stages of cognitive development describe the intellectual development of children from infancy to early adulthood. Piaget believed that children are not less intelligent than adults, they simply think differently. He also proposed a number of concepts to explain how children process information.

  • Key Concepts of Piaget's Theory
    Important concepts in Piaget's stages of cognitive development include assimilation, accommodation, and equilibration. Learn more about these concepts as well as the background of Piaget's theory.

  • The Sensorimotor Stage
    The sensorimotor stage can be divided into six separate substages that are characterized by the development of a new skill.

  • The Preoperational Stage
    This stage is characterized by an increase in playing and pretending. Characteristics of this stage include egocentrism and difficulty understanding conservation.

  • The Concrete Operational Stage
    During this stage, children begin thinking logically about concrete events, but have difficulty understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts.

  • The Formal Operational Stage
    During this stage of cognitive development, skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning, and systematic planning begin to emerge.

  • Support and Criticism of Piaget's Theory
    While Piaget's stage theory of cognitive development has been influential in psychology, there have been a number of criticisms of his work. Learn more about support and criticism of Piaget's theory.

  • Quiz - Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development
    Test your knowledge of Piaget's theory with this quiz.

Image: Jeremy Doorten


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