In the sensorimotor stage, Piaget concluded that babies live in the moment and what is out of sight is truly out of mind for babies. Until about six months of age, babies did not search for a toy that was “hidden” under a blanket or placed out of sight. Around the age of eight months, babies experience object permanence. Babies around the age of eight to nine months and sometimes lasting up to 15 months experience stranger anxiety. Babies and toddlers are aware of different faces and they can recognize who is not “mom,” “dad,” or caregiver.
Object Permanence An understanding that even though an object is hidden or out of sight, the object still exists.
Stranger Anxiety Distress that babies and toddlers feel when someone unfamiliar to them holds them or comes closer to them
In the preoperational stage, the child is perfecting their language development. Two to six year-old children in this stage engage in pretend play and the children are egocentric. For example, Cam who is in preschool, is talking on the phone to Grandpa. Grandpa asks Cam if he had fun in the pool today. Cam nods his head. Grandpa is left wondering if Cam had fun and Cam is off to the next thought. Another example would be when Rose, a two year-old, is asked to show her cousin, Dominick, a picture. Rose holds the picture facing her and Dominick is left looking at the back of the picture. It is important for us to realize that children between the ages of two and six are not intentionally being selfish or self-centered; they simply have not developed the ability to take another’s point of view.
Egocentric Cannot see the world through anyone’s eyes except for their own
Concrete Operational Stage
In the concrete operational stage, the seven to 11 year old child has mastered the idea of conservation. So, he or she no longer thinks that a hot dog cut into six pieces is greater in quantity than a hot dog cut into four pieces! Children in this age are able to grasp arithmetical operations and think logically about concrete events. For example, around the age of eight, Wanda is asked, “What is eight plus four?” She may take about four seconds to answer, "12.” Then, Wanda is asked, “What is “12 minus four?" and she can answer “eight” immediately, as the ability to think concretely has emerged.
Formal Operational Stage
During the formal operation stage, by the age of about 12, children can hypothesize. and determine consequences. Piaget concluded that by the age of 12 and above people have systematic reasoning—a person can now formulate the thought "if this, then that."
Hypothesize: To make an assumption based on evidence and experiences
Systematic Reasoning: Logical reasoning.