Jean Piaget

Cognitive Development


  1. Born on August 9th, 1896, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  2. At just 10 years old, Piaget’s fascination with mollusks drew him to the local museum of natural history, where he stared at specimens for hours on end.
  3. After high school, Piaget went on to study Zoology at the University of Neuchatel, receiving his Ph.D. in natural sciences in 1918
  4. Piaget also attended the University of Zurich where he developed a deeper interest in psychoanalysis
  5. The following year he studied abnormal psychology at the Sorbonne in Paris

Research and Theories

  • Piaget evaluated the results of standardized reasoning tests that Simon had designed. The tests were meant to measure child intelligence and draw connections between a child’s age and the nature of his errors.

  • Shortly after, Piaget decided that the test was too rigid. In a revised version, he allowed children to explain the logic of their "incorrect" answers. In reading the children’s explanations, he realized that children’s power of reasoning was not flawed after all. In areas where children lacked life experience as a point of reference, they logically used their imagination to compensate.

  • Over the course of his six-decade career in child psychology, Piaget also identified four stages of mental development.
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Our Interpretation of Piaget's Theory

1. Senorimotor (0-2 years): Infants engage through direct sensory and motor contact. They begin to develop the sense of object permanence and separation anxiety

2. Preoperational (2-6 years): Child uses objects to signify certain thing but doesn't reason logically. This stage is when the child learns to play pretend and becomes egocentric

3. Concrete Operational(7-12 years): The child begins to develop the ability to add, subtract, and understand conversation.

4. Formal Operational (12 years - Adult): Adolescent can consciously think about the future.


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Formal Operational

Interesting Facts

  • Between 1929, and 1967, he was the Director of the International Bureau for Education
  • He also held the position of director of the Institute for Educational Sciences at the University of Geneva between 1933 and 1971
  • He was the Professor of Psychology and Sociology at the University of Lausanne between 1938 and 1951, and the Professor of Sociology at the University of Geneva between 1939 and 1952.

Works Cited

  • "Developmental Standards Project." Piaget's Theory. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.
  • "Jean Piaget - Developmental Psychology - 1B BurtonPSYCH." Jean Piaget - Developmental Psychology - 1B BurtonPSYCH. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.
  • "Jean Piaget." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.
  • "Lesson 4 Screen 2." Lesson 4 Screen 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.
  • "Piaget's Background." Piaget's Background. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.