February 11, 2013
The stage theories of J. Piaget, E. Erikson, and L. Kohlberg are fundamental in explaining how a person develops. In Piaget’s case he described cognitive development in four stages- sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. In Piaget’s sensorimotor stage which is usually from birth to age 2, babies experience the world through their sensory and motor interactions with objects such as through looking, hearing, touching, mouthing and grasping. Developmental phenomena in this stage are object permance and stranger anxiety. In the preoperational stage which Piaget says is from the preschool period to about age 6 or 7 children are too young to perform mental operations. An example of this is how children perceive a taller glass having more liquid inside than a shorter glass with larger sides even though both contain the equal amount of liquid, developmental phenomena in this stage would be pretend play, egocentrism, and language development. Next in the concrete operational stage which begins at age 6 or 7 they begin to grasp that change in shape doesn’t correlate into change of quantity. Furthermore, he states children fully gain the mental ability to comprehend mathematical transformations and conservation. Developmental phenomena within this stage would be, conservation and mathematical transformations. Lastly, the formal operational stage which is usually by age 12, our reasoning expands from the purely concrete that involves actual experience to encompassing abstract thinking which involves imagined realities and symbols. In this stage the developmental phenomena would be abstract logic and the potential for mature moral reasoning. Criticism of Piaget’s stages lies much in regards to his research methods. A major source of inspiration for the theory was Piaget's observations of his own three children. In addition to this, the other children in Piaget's small research sample were...
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