Overview Of Piaget's Theory Of Cognitive Development

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Jean Piaget (1896-1980) can be noted as the most significant psychologists in the understanding of cognitive development. Originally a biologist, Piaget (1936) turned to cognitive development after working on intelligence testing in Paris and noticing the distinct difference between answers given by children and adults to various problems and questions. Piaget (1936) inferred that this was not because children were unskilled thinkers but instead interpreted the questions differently than adults. From this he began his extensive research accounting for how children cognitively develop comprised of maturational stages (SimplyPsychology, 2009.) However since Piaget (1896-1980) produced his theory, research has been conducted with results being …show more content…
In this stage logical and symbolic thinking is formed and language ability swiftly develops. Another key feature of the stage is conservation, which is not developed until the concrete stage (Piaget, 1896-1980, cited by Martin, Carlson & Buskist, 2013). Conservation refers to the ability to understand that no matter how much things are rearranged in volume, quantity and number they will remain the same. According to (Piaget, 1896-1980, cited by Martin, Carlson & Buskist, 2013) conservation of number is understood by age 6 and conservation of volume by age 11. To test for conservation of number (Piaget, 1896-1980, cited by Martin, Carlson & Buskist, 2013) would present children two identical rows of six counters and then spread out one of the rows and ask the children which row had more counters. He found that children would think that the row which had been spread out had more counters when they still both had six proving their inability to understand conservation. However (Gelman, 1972 cited by Martin, Carlson & Buskist, 2013) found that if the task was simplified such as using two rows of three counters, children the age of three could understand that both rows still had the same amount of counters when one row was spread out. Gelman’s (1972) research therefore suggests that Piaget’s (1896-1980,) theory of when …show more content…
Egocentrism is the concept that children believe how they view the world is how everybody else also views the world; the only existing perspective is their own. To test this (Piaget, 1896-1980, cited by Martin, Carlson & Buskist, 2013) conducted the three mountains experiment. The child would be presented with a model of three mountains, which consisted of different features. After the child looked at the model, the experimenter would place a doll at a certain point around the model and then ask the child what the doll could see (usually using picture cards.) Children aged 8-9 years were unable to complete the task correctly, selecting what they could see rather than the doll. This proved to (Piaget 1896-1980, cited by Martin, Carlson & Buskist, 2013) that children did not possess the ability to decentre during the preoperational stage. However Hughes (1975) conducted another egocentrism task, after arguing that the three mountains task was unnecessarily difficult with the process of matching a picture to the doll’s perspective. In this task Hughes (1975) showed children aged between 3½ to 5 years old a four quadrant model and then place a policeman doll at one of the intersections (meaning the policeman could see into two of the quadrants.) He then asked the child to place a doll of their own into a quadrant which was hidden from the policeman’s sight. He found that over 90% of the children were able to hide the

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