• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Developmental Psychology. This assignment shall begin by describing and evaluating the theories put forward by Piaget and Vygotsky referring to research evidence and providing a conclusion.

Extracts from this document...


Cognitive development involves developing concepts of thought, problem solving and memory (Green. 2002). Jean Piaget (1896-1980) and Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) were both psychologists, which focused on cognitive development and the way in which children's thought and reasoning developed as they matured. This assignment shall begin by describing and evaluating the theories put forward by Piaget and Vygotsky referring to research evidence and providing a conclusion. Piaget (1896-1980) was one of the most influential researchers in the area of developmental psychology during the 20th century and a as biologist was interested in the way in which organisms adapt to their environment this was described by Piaget as intelligence. He viewed behaviour or the adaptation to the environment as being controlled through mental organisations known as schemes that the individual uses in order to represent the world. Piaget suggested that adaptation is driven by a biological drive to obtain balance between schemes and the environment, which is known as equilibrium (Huitt. 2003). Within Piaget's research and writing's on cognitive development he suggested that children's thoughts are not only less sophisticated than adults but they are also qualitatively different and this is due to less knowledge (Jarvis. 2000). It was considered by Piaget that the interaction between the child and their environment was the main factor of influence on their cognitive development. Piaget's view of children is that they are scientists and that they should be left to explore their surroundings giving them the opportunity to interpret the world in their own way. ...read more.


Two of the glasses were identical whilst the third was tall and slender. It was found that the children of five years could not grasp the concept that there was the same amount of liquid in all of the glasses whereas seven year olds understood this. To check if children understood conservation of number counters were placed onto a table in two rows, which to begin looked identical in length and had the same number of counters. After Piaget spread his row of counters out he discovered that whilst most seven year olds could correctly distinguish that there were still the same number of counters younger children believed that there were more counters in the row, which had been spread out. The final experiment involved flowers. Children were shown four red and two white flowers. In order to see if the children could correctly classify that there were six flowers Piaget asked the question 'are there more red flowers or more flowers?' to which he found that most five year olds believed that there were more red flowers. He then concluded that children would focus on one aspect being either class or sub-class. All of these experiments have been challenged firstly Susan Rose and Marion Blank (1974) argued that by repeating the question after a wrong answer hints that the first answer is wrong. After repeating this experiment and asking the question just once Susan Rose and Marion Blank found more children gave the correct answer. ...read more.


His theory has generated research, which has lead to a better understanding and has been influential for many years. Unlike Piaget Vygotsky's intention was to apply his ideas to education along with Vygotsky, Jerome Bruner also wanted to get his ideas into education. Bruner believed like Piaget that children learn through discovering for themselves and having materials freely available although his theory is mainly based on Vygotsky's ZPD and his theory being known as scaffolding (Green. 2002). As Vygotsky proposed that peers have an important influence on children's cognitive development Bennett and Dunn (1992) investigated the effects of group work within primary children. Results showed that children that had been working in groups showed better language and an advanced way of thinking compared to the children who had worked alone (Jarvis. 2000). To conclude Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruner all believe that cognitive development follows stages of some sort. Critics against Piaget suggest that he underestimated the ages in which children reach the stages and so making Vygotsky's ideas become more popular although Piaget's theory has been part of the foundation of constructivist learning (Huitt. 2003). Piaget does not consider social roles and how this may impact on a child's cognitive development whereas Vygotsky ensures that society plays a major role in his theory. Bruner's theory supports Vygotsky and has developed his theory of scaffolding also as it does not state any ages it makes it more flexible. Both Piaget and Vygotsky's theories have been successfully applied to education. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nicola Caufield Developmental Psychology Emma Keane Access to Health Group 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Theme of Ethics in Psychological Research making reference to Social Psychology and Developmental ...

    4 star(s)

    Age, gender, social background should all go into consideration. Also in order to conduct the research ethically the researcher must obtain an informed consent from all individuals taking part in the experiment. This will mean that the individual can make an informed decision about taking part in the study, and

  2. counselling stages of attachement

    This contradicts with the major assumption of the theory. E.g. - Schaffer and Emerson found that in 39% of cases the person who fed the infant was not the person whom they were first attached to. This makes the theory problematic.

  1. Piaget' theories. Include the work of Vygotsky, Bruner, Donaldson and Rogoff to discuss and ...

    Subsequent research suggests that a child may have these competencies earlier than Piaget suggested. However, simply to focus on age limits is to miss the central point of Piaget's theory that universal, qualitative, biologically regulated cognitive changes occur during development.

  2. Write a detailed 1,500 word critique of Piaget' theories. Include the work of Vygotsky, ...

    Piaget also underestimated the age at which children could do things. This maybe due to his failure to distinguish between competence and performance. Piaget's studies tested performance and then he assumed that a child who failed simply lacked the underlying cognitive structures that he believed were needed to succeed on that task.

  1. Communication skills in a group interaction.

    Again I made sure that the layout of the group was the most effective way it could be which I have already stated. There are also many other barriers, which do not come under, physical or environmental: for example - * Dress * Tiredness * Culture and different races *

  2. Compare and Contrast The Cognitive Developmental and Social Learning Theories Of Moral Development

    Moral development is in fact a cumulative and continuous process that carries on through life, so it is never stage related. One social development theory that does interestingly use stages is Eriksson's. This theory has eight stages of development that are rigidly structured to mirror the development in age of a person.

  1. Piaget's Developmental Psychology. He believed that childrens logic changed as they developed through their ...

    This theory was tested by giving a 5-6 months old child a toy to play with, the toy was covered with a cloth and the baby's behavior observed. Results showed that a baby immediately lost interest as if the object never existed.

  2. "Working conditions were terrible in 19th century Britain." Does the evidence support this view?

    It was harsh, when the wages were given; money had already been taken off for the rent of the workers cottages, purchases from the mill store and fines. One mill owner liked to show off the mill that he ran so cheaply in 1878 a mill owner wrote (source 1).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work