Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Slater I 58
Cognitive Development/children/Piaget: (Piaget called his research “genetic epistemology”) Thesis: children progress systematically through a series of “stages” with distinct features and capacities:
1. Sensorimotor period (birth to two years). Infants’ understanding of the world derives from their physical actions. Their capacity to interact with the world goes from simple reflexes through several steps to an organized set of behaviors.
2. Preoperational period (two to seven years). Children begin to use symbols (mental images, words, gestures) to represent objects and events, and they are able to use symbols in an increasingly organized and logical fashion.
Slater I 59
3. Concrete operational period (7 to 11 years). Children acquire certain logical structures that allow them to perform various mental operations, which are internalized actions that can be reversed.
4. Formal operational period (roughly 11 to 15 years). Mental operations are no longer limited to concrete objects; they can be applied to different abstract and formal representations of the physical world, such as verbal or logical statements. In addition, children can reason about the future as well as the present.


David Klahr, ”Revisiting Piaget. A Perspective from Studies of Children’s Problem-solving Abilities”, in: Alan M. Slater and Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Piag I
J. Piaget
The Psychology Of The Child 2nd Edition 1969

Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012


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