Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Piaget’s Theory of cognitive development overly pays attention to children explaining how they obtain cognitive abilities.  This theory opines that a child’s mental functioning and how they discern their immediate environment is based on their genetically inherited and evolved mental structures, on which all other development is anchored. However, this theory argues that for a child to be a reasonable individual, with the ability to critically think and evaluate matter surrounding him or her, the child must undergo a development process that builds their brain as if it was a house (Mossler, 2015).

The theory, therefore, going through several stages of mental development while at the same time addressing various kinds of intelligence, holds that a child’s later knowledge and intelligence would be inferior if the first initial stages were poorly anchored, although several factors determine an individual’s outcome later in life. This Theory, aligns with my view of cognitive development, given that once born children’s mental capacity can be compared to an individual starting a new course or subject. Just like ordinary stylized learning, individuals must first begin with simpler concepts then move to the more complex in the course. Failure to create a solid base, with the earlier simpler ideas in the course will result in the individual stalling later, and not being in a position to grasp more complex concepts.


“They develop repetitive behaviors, or habits, based on actions that they find pleasurable” (Mossler, 2015). This primary behavior occurs in sub-stage two within the first stage under primary circular reactions when an infant is 1-4 months old. Infants recreate actions that they feel pleasurable in a circular motion. This quote, therefore, resonates to me since it shows how primary the initial development phases of development and learning are, compared to what they become in the final stages.


Piaget believed that assimilation of ideas, as individuals obtain new ones occurs in the formal operational phase. During my earlier classes, I was taught that for subtraction to happen the first number in the equation had to be of higher value than the second. Where the first digit in the simple subtraction had a lower value than the second, we were made to understand that it was impossible to subtract. However, moving to high school I started studying integers, and numbers smaller than zero assimilating the new knowledge where any number despite its value can subtract.



Mossler, R. A. (2015). Child and Adolescent Development. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.