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Intelligence and Cognitive Skills in Piaget’s Theory

Abstract

The paper aims to highlight the peculiarities of the child’s development based on the theory of Piaget. The provided observations and the discussion section contribute to a better perception of the information. The theory of cognitive development proposed by Piaget is centered on the development of intelligence and cognitive skills. The child’s development is highly dependent on several factors. The child under analyses is three-month-old, and his actions reflect and prove the theory developed by Piaget. The observed child belonged to the sensorimotor stage. The baby starts to distinguish himself and the world around him. Also, the child perceives the world through kinaesthetic contact. The paper is focused on the detailed analysis of the child’s behavior about the theory of cognitive development.

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Observation

The mother of Andrew laid him on the bed. The baby actively wiggled his arms and legs. His typical movement was intertwining fingers and playing with feet and hands. When the mother placed her finger in the hand of Andrew, he reacted instantly with the palmer grasp. Also, he used the palmer grasp for getting the toy.

The mother turned the son over and he was lying on the stomach. He immediately took attempts to roll back, however, he failed as the head is rather heavy and the body is not able to perform such actions yet. After numerous attempts by the child to turn back, the mother helped him. The child was very active and started to play with his toes. After a couple of minutes, the baby looked around the room and saw the people who were close to the bed. When the mother took the child, Andrew immediately grasped her hands to secure and support himself.

When the mother placed a toy right beside the baby, Andrew reached out the hand to get it, however, in a second, when the mother covered it with the blanket, he started to look in a different direction. Andrew did not try to take the blanket off and to reach a toy.

When he started crying, the mother placed the pacifier in the mouth of her son and he stopped immediately. Then, she brought a favorite toy to Andrew. The mother moved the toy to different sides and the baby followed it with his eyes. He attempted to grasp it. While looking in the mirror, the baby was consciously looking at his reflection. There was a plate near the baby and he tried to touch it. Andrew stretched his arm to touch the plate and it fell.

When the mother talked to the child, Andrew was trying to imitate her. There was eye contact between Andrew and his mom. Moreover, he was turning his head towards the mother every time she said his name. The baby interacted with people in the room; he looked at every person and smiled.

The actions Andrew was related to his mother’s. His mother stood up a couple of times and went to get a toy the child started crying immediately. The infant was attracted by the toys and tried to reach them. The mother did not help the baby in his attempts. When the toy was close to the baby and he successfully reached the toy and started playing with it. The baby does not coordinate all the moves yet as the body is not proportional. Almost all the time during the experiment, an infant was smiling and made eye contact with people around.

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Introduction

The theory of cognitive development discussed by Jean Piaget is centered on the development of cognitive skills and intelligence. According to the scientist, the dominant activity of a child can be considered a play and is essential for positive development. The researcher focuses his attention on the nature of knowledge and the way the human being acquires it and uses it. Piaget was sure that the environment influences the developmental process of a child (Feldman, 2013). The scientist noted that cognitive development is a priority. The child-centered approach in educational establishments and open education reflect the main ideas and beliefs of the outstanding researcher.

Noting the close relationship between physical activity and perception in infants, Piaget outlined that the first two years of life can be considered as the sensorimotor stage (Barrouillet, 2015). During this period, infants are busy discovering the connection between their actions and consequences. They learn how to reach out and take the subject; what happens if you push the plate of food over the edge. Through countless “experiments” babies begin to form a concept of themselves and separate from the world around (Barrouillet, 2015).

At this stage, the important discovery is the concept of object permanence – the realization that an object continues to exist even when it is not seen. If the toy that the eight-month-old baby is reaching out for is covered with a blanket, he immediately stops to stretch and loses the interest (Barrouillet & Gaillard, 2011). The baby will not be surprised or upset the child will simply lose interest like it does not exist. In contrast to the eight-month-old baby, the ten-month-old will be actively looking for the object that is hidden under a cloth or screen (Feldman, 2013). This older child understands that an object exists, although it is not visible. The baby is aware of the concept of object permanence. But even at this age, the search is limited. If a child manages once to find a toy hidden in a certain place, he will continue to look for it there, even if the child saw that an adult had hidden it in a new place (Shaffer, 2014). The child simply repeats the action that has already led him towards getting toys.

Methods

The major method used was an observation. The baby under observation is named Andrew. He is three months old, approximately twenty-five inches tall and he weighs fifteen pounds. The body is not proportional yet, with a full stomach and small legs.

Results

At the beginning of the observations, Andrew’s mother laid him on the bed. The baby actively wiggled his arms and legs. His typical movement was intertwining fingers and playing with feet and hands. When the mother placed her finger in Andrew’s hand, he reacted instantly with the palmer grasp. Besides, he also used the palmar grasp for getting the toy.

The mother turned the son over and he was lying on the stomach. He immediately took attempts to roll back, however, he failed as the head is rather heavy and the body is not able to perform such actions yet. After numerous attempts by the child to turn back, the mother helped him. The child was very active and started to play with his toes. After a couple of minutes, the baby looked around the room and saw the people who were close to the bed. When the mother took the child, Andrew immediately grasped her hands to secure and support himself.

When the mother placed a toy right beside the baby, Andrew reached out the hand to get it, however, in a second, when the mother covered it with the blanket, he started to look in a different direction.

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Andrew’s mood was dependent on the pacifier. When he started crying, the mother placed it in the mouth of her son and he stopped immediately. Then, she brought a favorite toy to Andrew. The mother moved the toy to different sides and the baby followed it with his eyes. Moreover, Andrew used sensory-motor skills to get the toy from the mother. He attempted to grasp it. While looking in the mirror, the baby was consciously looking at his reflection.

When the mother talked to the child, Andrew was trying to imitate her. Also, Andrew starts to recognize his name as when the mother told it; he turned his head to her. Andrew was very responsive to his mother and imitated her facial expressions. There were constant eye contact and smiles. The behavior observed reflected the theory of cognitive development made by Piaget. The baby was acting in a way that the scholar described. The baby was actively playing with his feet and toes; he was touching objects to examine the world around. Also, the infant started to realize his name and his mother. The baby was smiling at her and was turning his head every time he heard his name.

Discussions

Section A

As Piaget puts it, the babies are not looking for the object that was covered. The case with Andrew proves this statement as the toy was an attractive point until the time it was covered with the blanket. The baby did not make any attempts to take the blanket off the toy. Based on the age of the baby I expected to observe certain behavior. My predictions and reality were almost the same. The baby shows innate reflexes. The neck of the baby is more strength and the head does not shake. Although he tried to roll back to the stomach, he could not perform it yet. I expected Andrew to play with his toes, feet, and hands actively. It is worth stating that my expectations met reality. There was eye contact with the baby and the mother. Moreover, Andrew recognized the mother’s voice and smiled back at her. The boy was also attracted by the bright toys; it can be explained by the fact that babies are commonly attracted by sharp contrasts.

I expected the baby to cry more often. Nevertheless, I observed a different behavior. Andrew reacts to the world around him. He was interacting with people in the room and smiled a lot. I concluded that crying is not the dominant part of the communication. Instead, Andrew was making sounds and stared at the people around. The mother talked to the baby every time and it was interesting to see his facial expressions. The baby imitated the actions, moves, and emotions of his mother. I expected the baby to follow the object with his head and eyes and attempts to reach the object. I would like to stress that these expectations were observed in reality.

Section B

Piaget described his theory of cognitive development in a detailed way. It is worth highlighting that the actions of the observed baby correspond to the theory. It should be noted that Piaget developed criteria that match the behavior of babies of different ages. Drawing conclusions from my observation, I would like to state that every action was taken into consideration by Piaget and reflected in his theory. Nevertheless, I have noticed that Andrew’s reactions were also related to his mother’s actions. Every time the mother stood up and went for a toy, he started crying. The baby feels more secure and comfortable when his mother is near. I find this fact interesting as the child and the mother seems to function as the united organism. According to my observations, the baby recognizes the role of the mother and understands everything she tells him. The fact that the boy changes facial expressions and smiles back when the mother tells him something pleasant proves this fact. I do not profess to be an expert regarding the subject, but I am strongly convinced that further investigations are needed to make other conclusions.

Section C

This assignment helped me to see how the theory works in practice. The understanding of the peculiarities of the cognitive development of a child on different stages contributes to a better perception of the information. Being able to test my knowledge on practice is an excellent opportunity to highlight the aspects that I need to improve. The child under analysis, Andrew, proved that the theory of cognitive development created by Piaget works in real life. Understanding the psychological and cognitive development of a human being through a lifespan is vital for the modern specialist. The child’s observation is essential for the understanding of the development of a human being. There is hardly a person in the world who remembers himself at the age of three months or even a year. However, almost every child in the world develops according to certain principles. Every person experienced the same problems and challenges in childhood. Up to a certain age, every child develops almost in the same direction. Piaget distinguished the stages of development that facilitate the work of professionals who examine the behavior of an infant. It seems essential to note that being aware of the peculiarities of a child’s development at every stage, we can try to eliminate deviations in further development.

Section D

The observation and discussion sections provide some insights into the peculiarities of the cognitive development of a three-month-old child. The proposed study is a significant source of information that contributes to a better understanding of the cognitive development and sensorimotor stage in particular. The study is focused on the evaluation of the connection between the observed behavior and expected one about Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. A better understanding of these aspects will beneficially affect further development of a child as the specialist can notice mismatches between normal and abnormal development.

References

Barrouillet, P. (2015). Theories of cognitive development: From Piaget to today. Developmental Review, 38(2), 1-12.

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Barrouillet, P., & Gaillard, V. (2011). Cognitive development and working memory: A dialogue between neo-piagetian theories and cognitive approaches. Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Feldman, R. (2013). Life span development: A topical approach (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Shaffer, D. (2014). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 11). Intelligence and Cognitive Skills in Piaget's Theory. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/intelligence-and-cognitive-skills-in-piagets-theory/

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"Intelligence and Cognitive Skills in Piaget's Theory." StudyCorgi, 11 Dec. 2020, studycorgi.com/intelligence-and-cognitive-skills-in-piagets-theory/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Intelligence and Cognitive Skills in Piaget's Theory." December 11, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/intelligence-and-cognitive-skills-in-piagets-theory/.


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StudyCorgi. "Intelligence and Cognitive Skills in Piaget's Theory." December 11, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/intelligence-and-cognitive-skills-in-piagets-theory/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Intelligence and Cognitive Skills in Piaget's Theory." December 11, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/intelligence-and-cognitive-skills-in-piagets-theory/.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Intelligence and Cognitive Skills in Piaget's Theory'. 11 December.

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