Medical Dictionary


adjective Pia·get·ian \ˌpē-ə-ˈjet-ē-ən\

Medical Definition of Piagetian

  1. :  of, relating to, or dealing with Jean piaget or his writings, theories, or methods especially with respect to child development

Biographical Note for piagetian


\pē-ä-zhā\play ,


(1896–1980), Swiss psychologist. Piaget was professor of psychology at the University of Geneva and from 1955 served as director of that university's International Center for Epistemology. A leading investigator of thought processes in children, he described the development of the individual's cognitive abilities. He suggested that thinking is a refined, flexible, trial-and-error process. He divided the development of thinking in children into four stages. The first stage, the sensorimotor stage, occurs during the first two years and is marked by an empirical, largely nonverbal intelligence. The second stage occurs between two and seven years of age and is the time when the child perceives that objects can be represented by words, which the child begins to use experimentally. The third stage occurs between seven and twelve years of age and is occupied by logical operations, which the child uses to classify objects by their similarities and differences. The fourth stage occurs from the age of twelve through adulthood, when the individual begins experimenting with formal logical operations and with more flexible kinds of thinking.

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