Piaget's Stages Cognitive Dev - RonaldMah

Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist,
Consultant/Trainer/Author
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Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development


Sensorimotor (0-18 months)- six substages
1) reflexes (0-1 month) that gradually become more efficient: sucking, grasping, kicking.
 2) primary circular reactions (1-4 months) repetition for own sake without any intention.
 3) secondary circular reactions (4-6 months) repeated actions to produce effects that seem interesting.
 4) coordination of secondary reactions (7-10 months) mastery of responses that child uses to create specific desired effects.
 5) tertiary circular reactions (11-18 months) active trial and error experimentation.
 6) internal mental inventions (18 months) invention of new means of affecting self and world through internal mental combinations.

Preoperational (18 months-age 7)
 Characterized by the development and use of language; understanding the meanings of objects; and events are manipulated; as well as overt actions.  Treat objects as symbolic of other things.  Not necessarily committed to fine articulated rules and concepts.

Concrete Operations (age 7-12)
Now can make a mental representation of an entire sequence of events; Conservation of volume;  Relational terms distinguishable (which is darker? btwn two light objects);  Class inclusion understood (more yellow or more candles);  Still present centered.

Formal Operations (age 12 and up)
Can consider all alternatives to solve problems; Is deductive; Can do hypothetical thinking; can use abstract rules to solve a whole class of problems; rational and systematic; self-conscious and highly reflective; is more future oriented and remote.

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Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
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