Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jean Piaget: Child Development Psychology

Jean Piaget: Child Development Psychology, The great pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing i.e. Epistemology   

Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980) was employed at the Binet Institute in the 1920s, where his job was to develop French versions of questions on English intelligence tests.

He became intrigued with the reasons children gave for their wrong answers on the questions that required logical thinking. He believed that these incorrect answers revealed important differences between the thinking of adults and children.

Piaget was the first psychologist to make a systematic study of cognitive development. His contributions include a theory of cognitive child development, detailed observational studies of cognition in children, and a series of simple but ingenious tests to reveal different cognitive abilities.

Before Piaget’s work, the common assumption in psychology was that children are merely less competent thinkers than adults. Piaget showed that young children think in strikingly different ways compared to adults. According to Piaget, children are born with a very basic mental structure (genetically inherited and evolved) on which all subsequent learning and knowledge is based.

- See more at:

There Are Three Basic Components To Piaget's Cognitive Theory:

1. Schemas

(building blocks of knowledge)

2. Processes that enable the transition from one stage to another
(equilibrium, assimilation and accommodation)

3. Stages of Development:

· sensorimotor,

· preoperational,

· concrete operational,

· formal operational

Cognitive Stage of Development           Key Feature    Research Study
0 - 2 yrs.
Object Permanence Blanket & Ball Study
2 - 7 yrs.
Egocentrism Three Mountains
Concrete Operational
7 – 11 yrs.
Conservation Conservation of Number
Formal Operational
11yrs +
Manipulate ideas in head, e.g. Abstract Reasoning Pendulum Task

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge.

[1] Wikipedia
[2] McLeod, S. A. (2009). Jean Piaget | Cognitive Theory. Retrieved from


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