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Video:Jean Piaget's Cognitive Child Development Theory

with Dr. Robert Reiner

Jean Piaget's cognitive child development theory looks at a child's cognitive development as a two-part process. This psychology video from About.com will explain Piaget's cognitive child development theory in greater detail.See Transcript

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Transcript:Jean Piaget's Cognitive Child Development Theory

My name is Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York City. I'm going to talk to you about Jean Piaget, who was a Swiss biologist, and his theories of, basically, how animals learned, which he thought was a two part process.

Piaget's Child Development Theory: Assimilation

He referred to it as assimilation and accommodation. An example of assimilation would be a child for the first time, at an early stage, noticing (usually with a curious smile on his face) a horse with stripes. Now, that would be assimilation. So, that would be new material coming in to the brain without it really being organized properly. So, the perception itself is the material to be assimilated.

Piaget's Child Development Theory: Accommodation

Now, when something happens, when that child learns that that striped horse is really a zebra, the concept of a zebra is something new. And, something new is something learned. There are actual, real neurological changes that occur in the brain that we now know can actually be identified with current technology. Naturally, Piaget had no way of knowing that at the time, but he did theorize - and correctly so - that the process of accommodation meant change of some sort. Literally, the brain is accommodating itself to take in new information, which does result in some type of neurological change, which now can be measured.

This has been Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York. If you want more information about Swiss biologist Jean Piaget, please go to About.com. Thank you.

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