Jean Piaget's Contribution to Psychology Essay

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Throughout history, many people have made amazing contributions to the school of psychology. One of these was Jean Piaget and his theories on the cognitive development stages. Jean Piaget was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Here he studied at the university and received a doctorate in biology at the age of 22. Following his schooling he became increasingly interested in psychology and began much research and studying of the subject. From this research Piaget created a broad theoretical system for the development of cognitive abilities. His work, in this way, was much like that of Sigmund Freud, but Piaget emphasized the ways that children think and acquire knowledge. Piaget referred to his theory as genetic epistemology. This is …show more content…
The first stage that Piaget felt all children go through was the sensorimotor stage. This stage occurs between birth and two years of age. This is the stage when Infants begin to learn through sensory observation, and they gain control of their motor functions through activity, exploration and manipulation of the environment. (Furth 29) From birth, biology and experience work together to produce learned behavior. As infants become more mobile, one action is built upon another action, forming new and more complex actions. Infants' spatial, visual, and tactile worlds expand during this period in which children actively interact with their environment and use previously learned behaviors. The critical achievement of this period is the development of object permanence. This is the indication that a child has the ability to understand that objects have an existence independent of the child's involvement with them. Infants learn to differentiate themselves from the world and are able to maintain a mental image of an object, even when it is not present and visible.(Rotman 40) At about 18 months, infants begin to develop mental symbols and to use words. This process is called symbolization. Infants are able to create a visual or mental image of an object to stand for or signify the real object. The attainment of object permanence marks the transition from the sensorimotor stage to

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