Jean Piaget was a cognitive theorist who believed that people progress through four stages of cognitive development starting from the day they are born all the way through adulthood. The four stages are sensorimotor, which is from birth to two years of age; preoperational, which is from two through seven years of age; concrete operational, which is from seven through eleven years of age; and formal operational stage which lasts from 11 years old through adulthood.
However, this paper will cover the substages of the sensorimotor stageThe sensorimotor stage is the stage when infants begin to develop both physical and cognitive skills. They begin to explore the world with their senses and motor skills such as listening, pulling, grasping, sucking, and crawling. They also begin to react to different stimuli such as noises, movements, and emotions.
The sensorimotor stage is broken into six substages known as: simple reflexes, primary circular reactions, secondary circular reactions, coordination of reactions, tertiary circular reactions, and early representational thought.The first substage of sensorimotor development is simple reflexes. A reflex is an involuntary reaction that typically happens without much thought. The infant tends to respond to the purely through inborn reflexes such as sucking and looking. For example, when someone puts their finger near a baby’s face they will reflexively suck on that finger.The second substage of sensorimotor development is primary circular reactions.
These reactions typically occur between one and four months of age. These actions are usually centered around the baby’s own pleasure. The baby will do things such as suck on their thumb, kick their legs, and wiggle their fingers. Babies begin to perform back and forth motions repeatedly between their hands and mouth after realizing that this motion can be repeated The third substage of sensorimotor development is secondary circular reactions. This substage usually happens around four months and continues until about eight months of age. Babies at this stage repeat pleasurable actions with objects as well as their own bodies for example shaking a rattle to hear the noise that it makes.
During this stage he child will also do things to trigger an environmental response, such as picking up a toy to put it in their mouth. The third substage also marks the beginning of the baby’s use of logic. They begin to realize that when an object drops from view it is no longer there. Thus, why many parents play peek-a-boo around this time. The fourth substage of sensorimotor development is the coordination of reactions. This substage encompasses the 8-12-month age frame. In this stage babies develop the ability to use prior knowledge to reach a goal. For example, if the parent covers a ball with a cup the baby will remove the cup to reach the ball.
This is the stage where object permanence in realized. Object permanence is the realization that just because an object is no longer in their line of sight it still exists. The fifth substage of sensorimotor development is tertiary circular reactions. This substage usually occurs between 12-18 months of age. Children during this age begin to experiment with trial and error.
They will make different sound and actions to see if they can get a response from their caregiver. They will also mimic the behavior that they observe. If an adult drop something and it breaks the baby will try to drop something to elicit the same response.The sixth substage of sensorimotor development is early representational thought. This final substage begins at 18 months and continues until 24 months of age.
It is during this stage that babies begin to mimic actions but with some understanding of the reason for the action. For example, a baby will pick up a telephone and try to talk on it. They do this from seeing their parents perform the same action and know that people talk into telephones.