Comparing Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development to
Erikson’s Stages of Social Development
Child psychologist, Jean Piaget, believed that a
person understands whatever information fits into his
established view of the world. Piaget described four
stages of cognitive development and related them to
a person’s ability to understand.
The Sensorimotor Stage occurs from birth to 2
years. It is during this stage that the child
learns about his or herself and the environment
around them by use of motor and reflex actions.
The Preoperational Stage begins from about the
time the child starts to talk to about age 7. With
the child’s new knowledge of language, he is able
to begin using symbols to represent objects and
personify them as well.
The Concrete Stage occurs from about first grade
to early adolescence. The child has now developed an
ability to make rational judgements. There is no
longer the need to live in a fantasy world as
The final stage in Piaget’s Cognitive Development is
the Formal Stage. There is no longer the need for
concrete objects to make rational judgements. He is
now capable of hypothetical and deductive reasoning.
Psychiatrist Erik Erikson believed that each
person had Eight Stages of Development. He called
them the “Eight Stages Of Man.” These stages were
formulated, not through experimenting, but through
wide ranging experience in psychotherapy.
Stage 1, Learning Basic Trust Versus Basic Mistrust,
is the period of infancy through the first one or
two years of life. A child, well handled, nurtured,
and loved, will develop trust and security. Badly
handled, the child becomes insecure and mistrustful.
Stage 2, Learning Autonomy ...