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Ψ  Cognitive Development
- Sensorimotor Intelligence -

Ψ   Piaget believed that humans of every age actively seek to comprehend their world & that their understanding of it reflects, specific age related cognitive stages. This is the concept of Active Intelligence.

Ψ   Piaget believed that humans adapt their thinking to their experiences. Adaptation occurs in two complementary ways: assimilation & accommodation.

The Six Stages of Sensorimotor Intelligence:

Stage Age Level of Schemes Object Knowledge Motor Development
I 0-1 Reflexes - sucking, grasping, starting, listening.
- primary circular reaction -
II 1-4 Adaptations ( assimilation & accommodation)
spontaneous movements repeated for the sake of bodily satisfaction
e.g., thumb-sucking
- primary circular reaction -
objects are images linked to the infant's actions holding head up, smiling
III 4-8 Making Interesting Experiences Last
beginnings of intentional activity
- secondary circular reaction -
search for partially hidden objects sitting up
IV 8-12 New Adaptation and Anticipation
coordination of schemes - putting together schemes used separately in the past e.g., coordination of cover removal and grasping
- goal-directed behavior -
- secondary circular reaction -
search for fully hidden objects crawling
V 12-18 Experimentation - New Means through Active Experimentation
The "little scientist stage"
- tertiary circular reaction -
cannot take account of invisible
brings about detour problems
VI 18-24 Experimentation - New Means through Mental Combinations
mental representation - insight
- tertiary circular reaction -
full object permanence

Quick Summary of the stages:
Stage 1. Reflex action.
Stage 2. Coordination of reflexes & sensorimotor repetition (primary circular reaction - feedback).
Stage 3. Activities to make interesting events in the environment reappear (secondary circular reaction).
Stage 4. Means/ends behavior & search for absent objects. (starts to understand object permanence)
Stage 5. Experimental search for new means (tertiary circular reaction) (little scientist)
Stage 6. Use of imagery in insightful invention of new means & in recall of absent objects & events. (deferred imitation - full object permanence)

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates