Piagetís Stages of Cognitive Development

Typical Age Range

Description of Stage

Developmental Milestones

Birth to about 2 years

Sensorimotor: Children experience the world through senses and actions (looking, touching, sucking, etc.)
  • Object Permanence
  • Stranger Anxiety

About 2 to 6 years

Preoperational: Children represent things with words and images, but lack logical reasoning.
  • Pretend Play
  • Egocentrism
  • Language Development
  • Private Speech
  • Theory of Mind

About 6 years to 11 years

Concrete Operational: Children can think logically about concrete events and can perform arithmetical operations. However, they have problems with abstract thought (i.e., analogies and metaphors).
  • Logical Thought
  • Conservation
  • Mathematical Transformations
  • Reversibility

About 12 to Adulthood

Formal Operational: Individuals can logically explore both concrete and abstract concepts. They can systematically think about all possibilities, project into the future or recall the past, and reason by analogy and metaphor.
  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Potential for Mature Moral Reasoning


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