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Terms in this set (26)

1. Sensorimotor (birth to 2 years) - children learn to separate themselves from objects. They recognize their ability to act on and affect the outside world, and learn that things continue to exist even when they are out of sight-this
understanding is called object permanence.

2. Preoperational: (2 to 7 years): Children learn to use language while they continue to think very literally. They maintain an egocentric (self-centered) worldview and have difficulty taking the perspective of others.

3. Concrete Operational (7 to 11 years): Children become more logical in concrete thinking. They develop inductive reasoning, meaning that they can reason from specific situations to general concepts. (The reverse, deductive reasoning, is not yet developed.) They come to understand the idea of conservation-the concept that a quantity remains the same despite changes in its shape or container.

4. Formal Operational (11 years and older): Children develop the ability to think logically in the abstract. They develop deductive reasoning skills-the ability to apply general concepts in specific situations-- and they learn to think theoretically and philosophically. Children and adolescents who have reached the formal operational stage are capable of achieving what Kohlberg referred to as post-conventional moral reasoning. Recall from Lecture 3 that this means they are able to help others and/or act morally despite danger or consequences. In fact, Kohlberg intentionally drew upon and expanded
Piaget's work in his own development of a theory of moral stages.