Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

What did Piaget mean by the sensory-motor stage?

The sensory-motor stage covers the first two years of life. It is roughly parallel with Freud’s oral stage and Erikson’s trust vs. mistrust stage. In this stage, the child only knows the world through direct physical contact. In other words, the child only knows the world through sensory experience (e.g., touch or sight) or motor action (e.g., kicking or grasping).


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