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Module 3: Cognitive Development

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Cognitive Development – Summary

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One of the most widely known perspectives about cognitive
development is the cognitive stage theory of a Swiss psychologist named Jean Piaget.

Piaget's stages of Cognitive Development.

In Piaget’s theory, the sensorimotor stage is birth to age two.
It is defined as the period when infants “think” by means of their senses and motor actions.

Stability object permanence is a belief that objects exist whether or not they are actually
present and it is a major achievement of sensorimotor development.

In the preoperational stage from age two to seven, children use their new ability to represent objects in a wide variety of activities, but they do not yet do it in ways that are organised or fully logical. One of the most obvious
examples of this kind of cognition is dramatic play, the improvised make-believe of preschool children.

This dual processing of experience makes dramatic play an early example of metacognition, or reflecting on and monitoring of thinking itself.

Concrete operational thinking differs from preoperational thinking in two ways:
Reversibility
Decentration

Reversibility is the ability to think about the steps of a process in any order.

Decentration is the ability to focus on more than one feature of a problem at a time.

In the formal operational stage, the child, aged 11 and beyond, becomes able to reason not only about tangible objects and events, but also about hypothetical or abstract ones.