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Piaget, Jean (1896-1980)

A Swiss pioneer of DEVELOPMENTAL
who postulated a series of sequential stages in
the developing processes of COGNITION in children; these are the
sensorimortor, preoperational, concrete operations
and formal operations stages. Piaget was
(rained as a biologist and retained (his orienialion throughout his
work, believing that the developmental process in children should
be allowed to run its own course without encouraging a child to
develop at a faster pace. Piaget began his career in psychology by
administering INTELLIGENCE TESTS to children. He noticed that
when children gave the wrong answers to his test questions they did
so in a particular manner: all the children of a certain age gave the
same kind of wrong answers to the same questions. By asking children
questions about how they perceive things he was able to demonstrate
that the world of the child is quite different from that of the adult,
both separated from each other by a mutual incomprehension. Though
Piaget's research methods and some of his findings have come under
critical fire, few psychologists would dispute his great influence in
reducing one half of that incomprehension.

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