Stages of Human Development

Stages of Human Development

The psychological development begins at infancy up to adolescence before adulthood. While there are several researches done, Jean Piaget’s theory provides an insightful analysis of each stage (Pressley & McCormick, 2006). He undertook a critical observation of children’s cognitive behavior and developed a theory that summarized their intellectual development. It constitutes four main stages of psychosocial development with the key hallmark in respective stages.

The sensorimotor stage captures age group from infancy to two years. Children tend to use sensory experiences to explore the world being the main influence behind acquisition of intelligence. The concept of object constancy occurs in the child’s mind, attaching names to specific objects (Pressley & McCormick, 2006). The most important hallmark is the ability to distinct objects and the existence outside one’s perception. Children aged between two to seven years are in the preoperational stage where they learn through playing pretense but can’t make logic. They show inconsistent ideals of constancy (Pressley & McCormick, 2006). It is an important, since the child can distinguish objects’ difference sizes, appearance, etc. The concrete operational stage falls in the age group of between seven to eleven years. They show logical understanding of concepts and objects but are not stable to address abstract ideas (Pressley & McCormick, 2006). Most importantly, children observe their uniqueness and accept the diversity of thoughts, ideas, feelings, and opinions among people. The formal operational stage is the transitional stage from adolescence to adulthood. Children are able to observe logic in their thoughts and actions. Besides, they are able to address abstract concepts (Pressley & McCormick, 2006). The most important aspect of this stage is the child’s ability to use deductive reasoning in line with scientific approach to resolve problems on various issues about their immediate surroundings and the world.

Piaget’s theory is emphatic on the cognitive transition across physiological changes in children. The theory forms an important basis to understand children and help them through their life to achieve their potential and appreciate diversity.


Pressley, M., & McCormick, C. (2006). Child and adolescent development for educators. New York: Guilford Press.

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