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Theories of Cognitive Development - Essay Example

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Erikson's Theories of Cognitive Development. Theories on development show the series of age-related changes that happen over the entire course of an individual's life which is described through the use of stages. The stage theories formulated by Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg share three assumptions (Erikson, 1950; Piaget, 1985; Kohlberg, 1971): 1…
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Download file to see previous pages He named the stages according to the possible outcomes. Stages 5 to 8 explain the transition from childhood through death. During adolescence as explained in stage 5, children are becoming more independent, and begin to look at the future. During this period, they explore possibilities and begin to form their own identity based upon the outcome of their explorations. In young adulthood, people face the challenge of developing intimate relationships with others. Based on stage 6, if they do not succeed, they may become isolated and lonely. In stage 7, during young adulthood, people face the challenge of developing intimate relationships with others. If they do not succeed, they may become isolated and lonely. In old age, explained in stage 8, people examine their lives. They may either have a sense of contentment or be disappointed about their lives and fearful of the future. Leaders therefore should know how to provide the proper recognition to their subordinates to motivate them and it should be dynamic since needs differ with age.
Jean Piaget's Formal Operational Stage of Cognitive Development. Jean Piaget conducted a program of naturalistic research that has profoundly affected our understanding of child development. He called his general theoretical framework genetic epistemology because he was primarily interested in how knowledge developed in human organisms. The concept of cognitive structure is central to his theory (Piaget, 1985). Cognitive structures are patterns of physical or mental action that underlie specific acts of intelligence and correspond to stages of child development. The formal operational stage begins at approximately age twelve and lasts into adulthood. During this time, people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts. He believes that deductive logic becomes important during the formal operational stage. Deductive logic requires the ability to use a general principle to determine a specific outcome. According to him, while children tend to think very concretely and specifically in earlier stages, the ability to think about abstract concepts emerges during the formal operational stage. Instead of relying solely on previous experiences, children begin to consider possible outcomes and consequences of actions. During the formal operational stage, he asserts that the ability to systematically solve a problem in a logical and methodical way emerges. It is therefore a guide for leaders that problem solving skills should be developed because it yields more efficient subordinates.
Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development. Lawrence Kohlberg focused on moral development and has proposed a stage theory of moral thinking which goes well beyond Piaget's initial formulations (Kohlberg, 1971). In stage 1, the child assumes that powerful authorities hand down a fixed set of rules which he or she must unquestioningly obey. In stage 2 children recognize that there is not just one right view that is handed down by the authorities. Different individuals have different viewpoints. Since everything is relative, each person is free to pursue his or her individual interests. Within stage 3, children see morality as more than simple deals. They believe that people should live up to the expectations of the family and community and behave in good ways. In stage 4 the emphasis is on obeying laws, respecting ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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