Stage of Cognitive Development

PSY 119: General Psychology-Piagetian Stages

Your Mission: Identify the stage of cognitive development of the person described in each scenario.  Explain your answer using Piaget’s cognitive development principles.

1.  Johnny and his friends become lost in a very large city park while playing in the woods.  After overcoming an initial panic reaction, they figure out that they can find the way out by “backtracking” and using the landmarks that they saw on their way in to the woods.  They do so and emerge from the woods ten minutes later.

Stage of Cognitive Development

Explanation

2. Baby Hannah sees her mama pick up a shiny, sharp and utterly fascinating object from the kitchen floor and put it out of her reach on the counter.  When mama leaves the room, Hannah sees a chair at the table four feet from the counter, looks again at the counter, and then begins to drag the chair slowly from the table to the counter.  She is climbing up on the chair just as her mother returns to the kitchen.

Stage of Cognitive Development

Explanation

3. Jermaine is asked the meaning of the saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  He says that sometimes it is not a good idea to let go of what you have for something that seems better because you could end up with nothing.

Stage of Cognitive Development

Explanation

4. Jasmine is asked whether she has a sister.  She says yes.  She is asked whether her sister has a sister.  She says no.

Stage of Cognitive Development

Explanation

5. The babysitter can keep Maurice entertained for an hour with the game of peek-a-boo.

Stage of Cognitive Development

Explanation

6. Emily is crying.  She sees that her mother gave her big brother four fish sticks while she was only given two.  She says, “He has more than me.  That’s not fair!”  Her mother picks up the plate and cuts Emily’s fish sticks in half.  She puts them in front of the delighted Emily, who starts to eat them without complaint.

Stage of Cognitive Development

Explanation

7. If you ask Dora who the tallest, smartest or funniest person in her class is, she will answer the question fairly accurately.

Stage of Cognitive Development

Explanation

8. Sarah is at a sleepover party where some of her friends are smoking cigarettes.  They suggest that she try smoking to help keep her weight down.  She imagines the possibility that that would work.  She also imagines being fifty and having lung cancer.  She declines the invitation.

Stage of Cognitive Development

Explanation 

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