Piaget's And Bruner's Theories For Cognitive Development Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #89368403 Related Topics: Jean Piaget, Cognitive Development, Social Cognitive Theory, Theorists
Excerpt from Essay :

Piaget's And Bruner's Theories For Cognitive Development

Cognitive theory, to some extent, is complex and multipart proposition. It puts forward the idea that development in humans is a function of an interaction with their upbringing, surroundings and individual understanding and experiences. Jean Piaget and Jerome Bruner are the two great theorists who constructed cognitive theories (William). Both theories have some similarities and differences which would be discussed in the paper.

Piaget's and Bruner's Cognitive Theories: Similarities and Differences

According to Piaget, the cognitive development of a child depends on four factors. These are genetic maturation, familiarity with the physical environment, understanding of the social environment and equilibration. His cognitive theory also gives an explanation of the four stages of cognitive development. The Sensory Motor Stage (Birth -- 2 years). During this stage, children act impulsively. They demonstrate an egocentric behavior and are indifferent to the needs, wants and interests of others around them. The second stage is Pre-Operations Stage (2yrs-7yrs) in n which the primary focus of children is present. Though at this stage, they can't think logically but their thought processes continue to develop. The third stage of Piaget's cognitive theory is Concrete Operations Stage (7yrs-11yrs) during which the social and linguistic development occurs. It is during this stage that the thought


The fourth and final stage is Formal Operations Stage (11yrs-16yrs) during which children "can think of abstract ideas and compare reality to the ideal" (William).

Bruner's Theory of Cognitive Development proposes that children are learners who behave, create and think by using inquiry and experience. He has developed three modes of representation (not stages) known as enactive, iconic, and symbolic. If compared with Piaget's, this cognitive theory is not age-specific (Cherry 2004). The enactive representation is comprised of the use of motor skills. A baby's actions become automatic when he repeats the actions again and again. When human beings grow up, they learn to do things through repetition for instance, driving, swimming, etc. The Iconic representation involves the acquisition of knowledge through visual or auditory images and things. Last but not the least, the Symbolic representation allows a child to think beyond images. They start using symbols, words or numbers to modify knowledge into a code. According to Bruner, learning in not influenced by age but by the environment. He emphasizes that it is the surroundings and experiences of an individual that slows down or accelerate the process of one's learning (William).

The most remarkable resemblance between the theories of Piaget and Bruner is that both are constructivist in nature. Both the theories emphasize on the point that children are active learners who use constructivism to create or think much of what they gain knowledge…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cherry G. 2004. An Overview of Jerome Brunner His Theory of Constructivism. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 May 2012].

Seta, C.E., Seta, J., Paulus, P., & Andrews, E.A. 2001. Study Guide for Psychology, Third Canadian edition, by Baron, R., Earhard, B., & Ozier, M. Toronto, ON: Pearson Education Canada Inc. [Print].

William, R.T. Social Cognitive Theories of Jean Piaget and Jerome Bruner., [Online]. 41, 117-123. Available at: [Accessed 26 May 2012].

Cite this Document:

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"Piaget's And Bruner's Theories For Cognitive Development" 27 May 2012. Web.13 June. 2021. <>

"Piaget's And Bruner's Theories For Cognitive Development", 27 May 2012, Accessed.13 June. 2021,

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