Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor Preoperational Concrete Operational Formal Operational
Sensorimotor Stage: birth to 2 years • Six sub-stages • Simple Reflexes • First Habits and Primary Circular Reactions • Secondary Circular Reactions • Coordination of Sec. Circ. Reactions • Tertiary Circular Reactions • Beginning of Thought
Simple Reflexes This sub-stage of the sensorimotor stage happens within the first month of a newborn’s life. The physical and cognitive life of the baby is it’s inborn reflexes, these reflexes help the baby interact with the world. The sucking reflex allows the baby to suck on anything placed near his lips.
First Habits and Primary Circular Reactions The second sub-stage is between the ages of one to four months. During this time, babies coordinate separate actions into single activities. While a baby is holding an object he may start to suck on it or focus his attention on one object while holding a toy.
Secondary Circular Reactions During this sub-stage the baby is between the ages of four and eight months old. The baby now starts to act and react to the outside world. This is demonstrated when a baby picks up her rattle and shakes it to listen to the noise it makes.
Coordination of Secondary Circular Reactions This sub-stage begins at 8 months and lasts until the baby is a year old. During this time a baby begins to develop goal- directed behavior, where several activities are combined to solve a problem. EX: if a baby is playing with a rattle and the mother takes it away the baby would begin looking for it.
Tertiary Circular Reactions This sub-stage runs from one year to 18 months of age. During this time the child carries out small experiments to observe results. An example is when a baby drops his toy – he then drops it repeatedly to see how it falls/lands. Once he observes different results he will continue to drop it to see what happens next.
Beginning of Thought This sub-stage is between the ages of 18 months and 2 years old. At this time a child forms mental and symbolic thought. This means that a child starts to remember past events and objects. If a child is playing with a toy and it rolls under the bed they can now predict the toy will emerge on the other side.
Preoperation Stage: age 2-7 years This stage begins around the time a child begins to talk and ends around age 7. During this time the child learns to substitute objects with symbols. The child is able to think about things such as events that aren’t happening in the present. The child also starts to think outside their world and play “pretend.”
Concrete Operational Stage: age 7-12 years The child begins to think abstractly and to make rational judgments. The child will now begin to ask and answer questions, which allows her to mentally manipulate information.
Formal Operational Stage:Age 12 through adulthood This is the final stage of development in Piaget’s theory. During this stage the person no longer needs concrete objects to make rational decisions. A person is able to consider many possibilities from all kinds of perspectives.