Cognitive Theories of Development Essay

Pages: 3 (885 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Psychology

Cognitive Theories of Development:

Piaget's Theory:

Given that he was initially trained in biology and philosophy fields, Jean Piaget was mainly interested in the impact of biological influences on cognitive development (Huitt & Hummel, 2003). As a result of his extensive work in this field, he is regarded as one of the most important researchers in developmental psychology. In his theory of cognitive development, Piaget suggests that human beings cannot obtain information that they immediately use and understand. Therefore, human beings develop their own knowledge through experiences which enable them to build mental models in their minds.

During his work in Paris, Piaget noticed that the answer of younger children were qualitatively different from those of their older counterparts. These answers were not because the younger children were dumber but rather because of their age and varying thoughts. Piaget then concluded that the answers of these children would change as they grow older and gain more experiences, which is a quantitative position. The two major aspects of his theory are the process of knowing and the stages in life, which result in gradual development of people's ability to think, reason, and know.

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Piaget noted that the infancy or sensorimotor stage of cognitive development is where intelligence is expressed through motor activity without using symbols. In the toddler and early childhood or pre-operational stage, it's demonstrated through various symbols, language, imagination and memory. Elementary and early childhood or concrete operational is where intelligence is expressed via systematic and logical handling of symbols linked to real objects. Finally, the adolescence and adulthood or formal operational stage involves the logical use of symbols linked to abstract ideas to demonstrate intelligence.

Vygotsky's Theory:

TOPIC: Essay on Cognitive Theories of Development Assignment

Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky is widely recognized for his socio-cultural theory despite being an educational psychologist. His theory on social development proposes that social interaction results in ongoing step-by-step changes in thoughts and behaviors of children that may vary greatly across cultures. Generally, Vygotsky suggests that a person's development is based on interaction with other people and the tools availed by culture to help shape his/her perspective of the world.

Vygotsky's theory links the social environment and cognition since he states that the potential for cognitive development is based on the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Since the ZPD develops depending on the full social interaction, children a certain level of development as they engage in social behavior ("Social Development Theory," n.d.). The basic principles in Vygotsky's theory are children develop their knowledge, development is closely linked to social context, learning results in development, and language is key to mental growth.

Similarities between the Theories:

On the nature or development of intelligence, both Piaget… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Cognitive Theories of Development" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Cognitive Theories of Development.  (2011, July 25).  Retrieved October 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Cognitive Theories of Development."  25 July 2011.  Web.  27 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Cognitive Theories of Development."  July 25, 2011.  Accessed October 27, 2021.