- Term Papers and Free Essays

Jean Piaget And Erik Erikson

Essay by   •  October 30, 2010  •  880 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,210 Views

Essay Preview: Jean Piaget And Erik Erikson

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget was born in Switzerland in 1896. He lived until 1980 and in his life, developed a basic model or blueprint of "normal" child development. He started out getting a degree in zoology but later changed his path and switched his focus to psychology. While working with testing young Parisians, he became fascinated with child psychology and early cognitive development. His theory consisted of 4 main stages with many sub-stages for each.

He based his ideas and theories on the idea that a child builds mental maps, schemes, or networked concepts, which help him or her to both understand and respond to given situations and experiences. Through these experiences, cognitive structure increases in sophistication and complexity.

According to Piaget, a child's experiences lay the foundation for any and all psychological development they have. The experiences fit into two categories: first, repeated experiences and second, new or different experiences. If the child were to experience something they had previously experiences, it would fit easily into their cognitive structure and would maintain the "mental equilibrium". However, when a new experience occurred, it would throw off the balance of the equilibrium and cause the cognitive structure to accommodate this new information and would thus be altered. The occurrence of these new experiences and the altering of the cognitive structure is how these structures grow and develop.

The four stages Piaget came up with were the sensorimotor (birth to 2 years), preoperational (age 2 to 7), concrete operations (age 7 to 11), and formal operations (age 11 to 15). In the sensorimotor stage, a set of concepts about reality is built but there is still no object permanence, meaning if a toy is shown to the child and then hidden, the child will forget that the toy ever existed. The preoperational stage is when the child has object permanence but still need concrete physical situations to understand and has no abstract thinking. During the concrete operations stage, the experiences have accumulated enough so that concrete physical situations are not needed and abstract problem solving begins. The final stage, formal operations, is when the child's thinking is much like an adult and included conceptual reasoning.

One example of a sub-stage of one of the stages is, during the first year and a half of an child's life, it goes through three stages of circular reaction: primary, secondary, and tertiary. In primary circular reaction (1 to 4 months), the action and response only involve the infant's own body. The secondary circular reaction (4 to 8 months), involves the action getting a response from some outside person or object, which leads to a repeat, by the child, of the original action. The last part, tertiary circular reaction (12 to 18 months), is when an action gets a response from an outside person or object, which leads to not a repeat of the original action, but the child will do a similar action in hopes of attaining a similar response.

Erik Erikson

Erik Erikson was born in 1902 in Frankfurt, Germany. For much of the 1920's he was an artist and a teacher until



Download as:   txt (5.2 Kb)   pdf (77.8 Kb)   docx (10.4 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 10). Jean Piaget And Erik Erikson. Retrieved 10, 2010, from

"Jean Piaget And Erik Erikson" 10 2010. 2010. 10 2010 <>.

"Jean Piaget And Erik Erikson.", 10 2010. Web. 10 2010. <>.

"Jean Piaget And Erik Erikson." 10, 2010. Accessed 10, 2010.