Piaget Observation

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Cognitive Development: Transition between Preoperational & Concrete Stages

Piaget believed that human development involves a series of stages and during each stage new abilities are gained which prepare the individual for the succeeding stages. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the differences between two stages in Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory—the preoperational stage and concrete operational stage. Cognitive development refers to how a person constructs thought processes to gain understanding of his or her world through the interaction of genetic and learned factors. The development of new cognitive structures (mental maps or schemas) will be a result of the individual's ability to adapt through mental processes such as assimilation and accommodation and gain intelligence doing so. This involves an on-going attempt to achieve equilibrium, which is a mental balance between cognitive schemes and information from the environment. An experiment was done on three subjects (children) of varying age to explain the transition between the two stages and to determine whether they fit into Piaget's theory according the way they answer the questions during the experiment. Piaget states that this transition is the development of logical thought processes, which are demonstrated by one's ability to conserve, think operationally and understand the concept of reversibility. During the preoperational stage (ages 2-7 years), according to Piaget's theory, one would expect to find that a child's thought is based on perceptual cues and that the child is unaware of contradictory statements. Characteristics include: language & symbol development, egocentrism, irreversibility, ability to think transductively, and classification of single properties. The preoperational stage also includes two substages: preconceptual stage (ages 2-4) and intuitive stage (ages 5-7), where the intuitive stage is usually where transitional characteristics into the next stage are...
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