Jean Piaget

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is Jean Piaget known for?

What is Piaget's theory of child development based upon?

What are the four stages of Piaget's theory of cognitive development?

What is the preoperational stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development characterized by?

What is the concrete operational stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development characterized by?

What is the formal operational stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development characterized by?

What is genetic epistemology?

What is the clinical method of examination in Piaget's research?

What is the Jean Piaget Society?


Jean Piaget: Swiss Psychologist and Pioneer of Child Development Theory

  • Piaget was a Swiss psychologist known for his work on child development and his theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called "genetic epistemology".

  • He placed great importance on the education of children and his theory of child development is studied in pre-service education programs.

  • Piaget created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 and directed the center until his death in 1980, which led to the Center being referred to in the scholarly literature as "Piaget's factory".

  • By the end of the 20th century, Piaget was second only to B. F. Skinner as the most-cited psychologist of that era.

  • Piaget was born in 1896 in Neuchâtel, in the Francophone region of Switzerland, and developed an interest in biology and the natural world at a young age.

  • He was educated at the University of Neuchâtel and studied briefly at the University of Zürich.

  • Piaget moved from Switzerland to Paris after his graduation and taught at the Grange-Aux-Belles Street School for Boys where he began his research on child development.

  • Piaget noticed that young children consistently gave wrong answers to certain questions, which led him to the theory that young children's cognitive processes are inherently different from those of adults.

  • Piaget developed his theoretical research program in four phases, which were characterized as representing different "Piagets".

  • Piaget's theory is based upon biological maturation and stages, and the notion of readiness is important.

  • Piaget believed cognitive structures' development as a differentiation of biological regulations and that knowledge development is a process of equilibration using two main concepts in his theory, assimilation and accommodation.

  • Piaget's four development stages are the sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational stage, and formal operational stage.Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

  • The preoperational stage occurs towards the end of the second year of life and is characterized by sparse and illogical mental operations.

  • Children in the preoperational stage are egocentric and unable to perform mental operations, but can form stable concepts and magical beliefs.

  • The preoperational stage is divided into two substages: the symbolic function substage and the intuitive thought substage.

  • The concrete operational stage occurs from ages seven to eleven and is characterized by the ability to think logically, understand reversibility, and classify objects.

  • The formal operational stage occurs from age eleven to sixteen and is characterized by the development of abstract reasoning and metacognition.

  • Piaget's psychology of functions and correspondences focuses on the cognitive accomplishments of children in the preoperational stage.

  • Piaget's development process consists of a cycle of differentiation, integration, and synthesis of new structures out of old ones.

  • Piaget's model of development explains how children organize their knowledge in increasingly complex structures through objectification, reflection, and abstraction.

  • Piaget's study of children's discriminative abilities between ages two and a half and four and a half years old showed that younger children have quantity conservation, but lose it over time.

  • Piaget created genetic epistemology to study child development as a means of answering epistemological questions.

  • Schemata are mental frameworks created by children as they interact with their physical and social environments.

  • Piaget used a combination of data collection methods, including naturalistic observation, psychometrics, and psychiatric clinical examination, to study how children reason and draw conclusions.Jean Piaget's Research Methods, Development, and Influence

  • Piaget experimented with analyzing a child's interpretation of a story to examine how children verbalize and understand each other without adult intervention.

  • Piaget recognized the limitations of his prior techniques and developed the clinical method of examination, which examined a child's thinking process in detail.

  • Piaget's research relied on small samples that were not randomly selected, and he interacted closely with his research subjects, introducing issues of consistency.

  • Piaget developed a combination of naturalistic observation with clinical interviewing in his book Judgment and Reasoning in the Child to analyze and access a child's thoughts about the world in a very effective way.

  • Despite criticisms of his research methods, Piaget's continuing influence can be measured by the global scale and activity of the Jean Piaget Society, which holds annual conferences and attracts around 700 participants.

  • Piaget's theory of cognitive development has proved influential in many different areas, including developmental psychology, education, and morality.

  • Piaget's theory of cognitive development is no longer accepted by mainstream psychologists, who do not view development as taking place in stages.

  • Piaget's theory allows teachers to view students as individual learners who add new concepts to prior knowledge to construct understanding for themselves.

  • Piaget defined knowledge as the ability to modify, transform, and "operate on" an object or idea, with learning occurring as a result of experience, both physical and logical.

  • Piaget believed in two basic principles relating to character education: that children develop moral ideas in stages and that children create their conceptions of the world.

  • Piaget proposed that morality developed out of peer interaction and that it was autonomous from authority mandates.

  • Peers, not parents, were a key source of moral concepts such as equality, reciprocity, and justice.Jean Piaget's Contributions to Psychology

  • Piaget introduced the fundamental distinction between different types of social relationships: asymmetrical and cooperative.

  • In asymmetrical relationships, one participant holds more power than the other, and knowledge acquired by the dominated participant takes on a fixed and inflexible form.

  • In cooperative relationships, power is more evenly distributed between participants, and authentic forms of intellectual exchange become possible.

  • Piaget believed that cooperative relations provide the arena for the emergence of operations, which require the absence of any constraining influence.

  • Piaget's research on morality was highly influential in subsequent work on moral development, particularly in the case of Lawrence Kohlberg's stage theory of moral development.

  • Historical changes of thought have been modeled in Piagetian terms, mapping changes in morality, intellectual life, and cognitive levels against historical changes.

  • Piaget's theories have been applied to the maximum stage attained by various animals, such as spiders and pigeons.

  • Piaget's models of cognition have also been applied outside the human sphere, and some primatologists assess the development and abilities of primates in terms of Piaget's model.

  • Piaget's theories have been used in the field of computer science and artificial intelligence.

  • Piaget's theories have been criticized by Lev Vygotsky, who stressed the importance of a child's cultural background as an effect on the stages of development.

  • Modern cognitive science has undermined Piaget's view that young children are unable to comprehend number, and that teaching arithmetic to young children will not lead to real understanding.

  • Piaget's major works include "The Language and Thought of the Child," "The Construction of Reality in the Child," and "The Psychology of Intelligence."

  • Piaget was the Director of the International Bureau of Education and received numerous honors and awards throughout his career.


Test your knowledge on the life and work of Jean Piaget, the Swiss psychologist who revolutionized the field of child development and cognitive psychology. From his groundbreaking theory of cognitive development to his methods of research, this quiz will challenge your understanding of Piaget's contributions to psychology and education. Whether you are a student, teacher, or simply interested in the history of psychology, this quiz is sure to provide an engaging and informative experience.

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