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Preoperational Period

Preoperational Period

Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology


Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


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The preoperational period is part of Jean Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development (Lally & Valentine-French, 2019). Piaget was a cognitive psychology, who in 1936 created a model to explain how children understand the world and develop cognitively. While other contemporary theorists believed that intelligence was a fixed trait, Piaget believed that cognitive development was a process that occurred in distinct stages, and that maturation brings about changes and growth in development, rather than training (Lally & Valentine-French, 2019). Piaget posited that each stage occurred at a specific time and in a specific sequential order, such every child goes through each stage in the same order. The order of Piaget’s stages of cognitive development are as follows: sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2), preoperational stage (age 2 to 7), concrete operational stage (age 7 to 11), and formal operational stage (11 to early adulthood).


cognitive development, cognitive psychology, intelligence, Jean Piaget, preoperational period

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This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.

Preoperational Period