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Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory Vs Eric Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory

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Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory Jean considered himself a genetic epistemologist that focus on “How we come to know.” Piaget theory proposed by various stages of a child where transition from one stage to the other follows a sequence. While some of his ideas have been supported through more correlational and experimental methodologies, others have not. For example, Piaget believed that biological development drives the movement from one cognitive stage to the next. Data from cross-sectional studies of children in a variety of western cultures seem to support this assertion for the stages of sensorimotor, preoperational, and concrete operations (Renner, Stafford, Lawson, McKinnon, Friot & Kellogg, 1976).

Eric Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory He developed his theory much later than Piaget did, but he also dealt in development with eight unique stages across the life of a person. New hurdles characterized each stage; the way the person deals with hurdles at a stage determines the aftermath. Consequently, naming of the stages occurred with the likely outcomes in mind. Eric theory was on identity, isolation, trust issues, insecurity, guilt from various ages, ranging from an infant to age twelve. Differences Erik’s theory focuses on the entire development process in life in eight stages. He asserts that the environment interacts with an individual to influence the development. In each of the phases, one encounters crisis and success depends on how he handles the challenges.

Skills acquired in progression to another stage lessen insecurity in the individual. These challenges occur in the lifespan from infancy to older age of an individual. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development looks into thought processes of a person. His emphasis is mainly in the earlier stages below the age of twelve. Development of cognitive skills occurs from infancy to the operational phase (above 12 years of age) where abstract thoughts make sense. Naming of the stages represents the cognitive skill attained in the child and adult. Despite the use of stages, they both differ on the timing aspect; Erikson’s theory holds that the first stage ends at one-year-old while Piaget postulates that the first stage ends at two years of age. Their views on the development process show remarkable differences in the late teens. Piaget views an adolescent as a rational being with rational thoughts. Erik posits that at this stage, the teenager focuses on independence in decision-making, relationships, and self-discovery. Piaget’s stages emanated from research and observation while in Erikson’s case it came from experience. Since Erickson is from the psychoanalytic school of thought, he points out that the ego changes constantly altering the individual’s personality.

Piaget solely focuses on changes in his theory of four stages, totally ignoring ego in his analysis. Erikson uses the social setting as the basis of his theory. Piaget bases his theory on the assumption of a child’s senses and capability as determinants of development. Similarities both of these theories examine the issue of developmental psychology using phases to explain the process. Each of the theories posits that each stage has different challenges in the development process. Thus, successive stages build upon each other to the extent that failure in the preceding stage also precipitates failure in the next stage. The two theories build on the idea that personality development takes place across a person’s lifespan.

Therefore, individuals get inspiration from the surroundings through the learning process. In turn, cognition influences the person to leave a mark in the society and enjoy success. They are also similar on their emphasis on scientific method of enquiries through controlled experiments of a laboratory investigation. Both of the theories have a profound impact on society, especially in early childhood education. However, the integration of the two provides better answers to psychologists and educators on the best way to teach young children. Based off the research by Steven Schlozman, M. D., Erik Erikson developed the most common theories of emotional development. Jean Piaget developed the most common theories of cognitive development. Lawrence Kohlberg developed the dominant theories of moral development. Early Childhood, Adolescence, and Their Significance Early childhood and adolescence are significant stages for individuals, where they grow physically to attain some form of independence. Cognitive development also takes place with language being understood in the early years while abstract thinking occurs at adolescence.

Social development and emotional expressions also accompany people in development while security and safety at younger ages leads to a better outlook on the surroundings (Rathus 507). Piaget and Erikson contributed a lot in the field of development psychology. Works Cited: 1. Rathus, Spencer. Childhood and Adolescence: Voyages in Development. New York: Centage learning, 2010. Print 2. Smart, Julie. Disability across the Development Life Span. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2011. Print 3. Snowman, Jack et al. Psychology Applied to Teaching. New York: Centage learning. 2011. Print320 pp., $25© Copyright 2004. 4. The Christian Science Monitor REFEENCES:320 pp., $25© Copyright 2004. 5. The Christian Science MonitorPiaget, J. (1936). Origins of intelligence in the child. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.www.mghclaycenter. org

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