A Quick Guide to Infant Intellectual Development- Piaget’s Theory

Coordination of Secondary Reactions
(8-12 months) Responses become coordinated into more complex sequences. Actions take on an “intentional” character such as the infant reaches behind a screen to obtain a hidden object.

Tertiary Circular Reactions
(12-18 months) Discovery of new ways to produce the same consequence or obtain the same goal such as the infant may pull a pillow toward him in an attempt to get a toy resting on it.

Invention of New Means Through Mental Combination
(18-24 months) Evidence of an internal representational system. Symbolizing the problem-solving sequence before actually responding. Deferred imitation.

In summary, Piaget believed that babies learned by experimenting. Constantly shaking, dropping and putting object in their mouths is a normal course of intellectual and cognitive development. By trial and error they learn, with the guidance of their parents of course!

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