Discuss Piaget's theory of cognitive development

Topics: Jean Piaget, Developmental psychology, Kohlberg's stages of moral development Pages: 4 (1235 words) Published: December 1, 2013
Discuss Piaget’s theory of Cognitive Development
Cognitive Development can be defined as the development of thought processes. This includes thinking, concept understanding, problem solving, and decision making and remembering from childhood on to adulthood. There are two theories of Cognitive development that offer us two different ways of understanding it. The first is called Domain general. This theory states that one line of development determines all of the changes in a child’s intellectual system (van Geert, 1998). This means that if one thing goes wrong then it will impact on all other areas of a child’s cognitive system, resulting in a high scale problem. The second is the Domain specific theory. This theory varies from the domain general theory as it states, different lines of cognitive development operate independently. It sees cognition as a heterogeneous system.

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) is the most well-known psychologist in the field of cognitive development. He was a French man that originally trained in biology and philosophy sectors. Piaget was the first person to suggest that children see the world differently to adults; he then developed methods to investigate this before any other psychologist had studied this area. Piaget set the basis for his research methods primarily on case studies because they were descriptive and for Piaget, the domain general theory of cognitive development was the correct one. The problem with this is that it is impossible to use case studies in order to draw conclusions about cognitive development to the entire population, therefore lacking population validity.

Piaget used the direct method of question and answer to find out how a child’s reasoning differs from an adult (D.M.G. Hyde, 1970). He believed that the differences in intellectual development are always a result of either direct or indirect changes that occur in a person’s logical ability.
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