Piagets Theory Of Personality Development

Piagets Theory Of Personality Development


Piagets Theory Of Personality Development 



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My next topic is: Piagets Theory Of Personality Development.


Piaget in 1920s was employed at the Binet Institute, where his job was to develop French versions of questions on English intelligence tests. He described his work as genetic epistemology (i.e. the origins of thinking). Genetics is the scientific study of where things come from (their origins). Epistemology is concerned with the basic categories of thinking, that is to say, the framework or structural properties of intelligence.


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



Jean Piaget

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a comprehensive theory about the nature and development of human intelligence. It was first created by the Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896–1980).


The theory deals with the nature of knowledge itself and how humans gradually come to acquire, construct, and use it. Piaget’s theory is mainly known as a developmental stage theory.


According to Piaget, cognitive development was a progressive reorganisation of mental processes resulting from biological maturation and environmental experience. He claimed that cognitive development is at the center of the human organism. The language is contingent on knowledge and understanding acquired through cognitive development.



Piaget’s theory of cognitive development explains how a child constructs a mental model of the world. He disagreed with the idea that intelligence was a fixed trait. He regarded cognitive development as a process which occurs due to biological maturation and interaction with environment.



According to Piaget, children are born with a very basic mental structure on which all subsequent learning and knowledge is based.



Stages of Development:-

Piaget did not claim that a particular stage was reached at a certain age – although descriptions of the stages often include an indication of the age at which the average child would reach each stage. Through his observations of his children, Piaget developed a stage theory of intellectual development that included four distinct stages:

1. Sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2)
2. Pre-operational stage (from age 2 to age 7)
3. Concrete operational stage (from age 7 to age 11)
4. Formal operational stage (age 11+ – adolescence and adulthood).


Piagets Stages Of Personality Development


The Sensorimotor Stage
Ages: Birth to 2 Years



The sensorimotor intelligence stage occurs from birth to approximately 1-2 years. In the child’s first year, the processes of intelligence are both pre symbolic and preverbal. For the infant, the meaning of an object involves what can be done with it.

These actions include pushing, opening, pulling, closing and so forth. The infant develops action schemes, such as reaching for an object or grasping something or pulling it towards them. This can be explained with the example i.e Rishan putting objects into his mouth to determine the shape and structure. This is something that many infants and young toddlers do.



The infant builds an understanding of himself or herself and reality through interactions with the environment. It is able to differentiate between itself and other objects. Learning takes place via assimilation and accommodation.


The main achievement during this stage is object permanence – knowing that an object still exists, even if it is hidden. It requires the ability to form a mental representation (i.e. a schema) of the object.


During this earliest stage of cognitive development, infants and toddlers acquire knowledge through sensory experiences and manipulating objects. Children go through a period of dramatic growth and learning. As kids interact with their environment, they are continually making new discoveries about how the world works.


Piagets Theory Of Personality Development

The cognitive development that occurs during this period takes place over a relatively short period of time and involves a great deal of growth. Children not only learn how to perform physical actions such as they also learn a great deal about language from the people with whom they they interact. Piaget also broke this stage down into a number of different substages. It is during the final part of the sensorimotor stage that early representational thought emerges.


By learning that objects are separate and distinct entities and that they have an existence of their own outside of individual perception, children are then able to begin to attach names and words to objects.
Babies have the ability to build up mental pictures of objects around them, from the knowledge that they have developed on what can be done with the object. A discovery by Piaget surrounding this stage of development, was that when an object is taken from their sight, babies act as though the object has ceased to exist. By around eight to twelve months, infants begin to look for objects hidden, this is what is defined as ‘Object Permanence‘. This view has been challenged however, by Tom Bower, who showed that babies from one to four months have an idea of Object Permanence.



The Pre-operational Stage
Ages: 2 to 7 Years



Our next stage is pre-operational thinking. This occurs from around 2-3 years to approximately 7 years of age. Partially logical thinking or thought begins during these years. For example, the child recognises that water poured from one container to another is the same water. Pre-operational thinking can and usually is illogical.


For example, Rishan , based on his perceptions, thought that the taller, slender glass had more juice in it than the shorter, wider glass that he received. In other words, perceptual cues, such as the height of the juice in the glass, dominate the child’s judgment. Also, children in this stage have difficulty accepting another person’s perspective or point of view. Piaget referred to this as egocentrism.


At this stage, kids learn through pretend play but still struggle with logic and taking the point of view of other people. They also often struggle with understanding the idea of constancy.


Piagets Theory Of Personality Development


The foundations of language development may have been laid during the previous stage, but it is the emergence of language that is one of the major hallmarks of the preoperational stage of development. Children become much more skilled at pretend play during this stage of development, yet still think very concretely about the world around them.


During this stage, young children are able to think about things symbolically. This is the ability to make one thing – a word or an object – stand for something other than itself.
Thinking is still egocentric, and the infant has difficulty taking the viewpoint of others.


The child is not yet able to conceptualise abstractly and needs concrete physical situations. Objects are classified in simple ways, especially by important features.



During this stage, children’s thought processes are developing, although they are still considered to be far from ‘logical thought’, in the adult sense of the word. The vocabulary of a child is also expanded and developed during this stage, as they change from babies and toddlers into ‘little people’.
Pre-operational children are usually ‘ego centric’. That means that they are only able to consider things from their own point of view. Gradually during this stage, a certain amount of ‘decentering’ occurs. This is when someone stops believing that they are the centre of the world, and they are more able to imagine that something or someone else could be the centre of attention.



The Concrete Operational Stage
Ages: 7 to 11 Years


Third stage of Piagets Theory Of Personality Development is known as Concrete Operational Stage. Piaget considered this stage a major turning point in the child’s cognitive development, because it marks the beginning of logical or operational thought.

As physical experience accumulates, accommodation is increased. The child begins to think abstractly and conceptualise, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences.


While children are still very concrete and literal in their thinking at this point in development, they become much more adept and using logic. The egocentrism of the previous stage begins to disappear as kids become better at thinking about how other people might view a situation.


Piagets Theory Of Personality Development

While thinking becomes much more logical during the concrete operational state, it can also be very rigid. Kids at this point in development tend to struggle with abstract and hypothetical concepts.

During this stage, children also become less egocentric and begin to think about how other people might think and feel. Kids in the concrete operational stage also begin to understand that their thoughts are unique to them and that not everyone else necessarily shares their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.


Before the beginning of this stage, children’s ideas about different objects, are formed and dominated by the appearance of the object. During the Concrete Operational Stage, children gradually develop the ability to ‘conserve’, or learn that objects are not always the way that they appear to be. This occurs when children are able to take in many different aspects of an object, simply through looking at it. This is because they now have more ‘operational’ thought. Children are generally first able to conserve ideas about objects with which they are most comfortable.



The Formal Operational Stage
Ages: 12 and Up



The formal operational stage begins around age 11 and is fully achieved by age 15, bringing with it the capacity for abstraction. This permits adolescents to reason beyond a world of concrete reality to a world of possibilities and to operate logically on symbols and information that do not necessarily refer to objects and events in the real world.


Piagets Theory Of Personality Development

The final stage of Piaget’s theory involves an increase in logic, the ability to use deductive reasoning, and an understanding of abstract ideas. At this point, people become capable of seeing multiple potential solutions to problems and think more scientifically about the world around them.


Finally, in this stage of adolescence, the structures of development become the abstract, logically organised system of adult intelligence.


The ability to thinking about abstract ideas and situations is the key hallmark of the formal operational stage of cognitive development. The ability to systematically plan for the future and reason about hypothetical situations are also critical abilities that emerge during this stage.


During this stage, people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts, and logically test hypotheses.


Cognition reaches its final form. By this stage, the person no longer requires concrete objects to make rational judgements. He or she is capable of deductive and hypothetical reasoning. His or her ability for abstract thinking is very similar to an adult.


Piagets Theory Of Personality Development


I hope this post will help you to understand more about the Piagets Theory Of Personality Development. Please post your comments and suggestion regarding the topic.

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