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Piaget's Theory

  1. Frank B. Murray

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0684

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Murray, F. B. 2010. Piaget's Theory. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Delaware

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Over the course of some 60 years, Jean Piaget (1896–1980), a Swiss biologist and philosopher, formulated a theory of the development of intellectual competence that continues to influence contemporary theories in this domain. Piaget maintained that logical thought depended on learning, social cooperation, biological maturation, and development, by which he meant a series of fundamental changes such that the later ways of thinking are dependent on, yet qualitatively distinct from, the earlier ones, always moving in the direction of greater logical consistency and coherence. He formulated subsidiary theories of the development of moral judgment and reasoning, perception, images, and memory, but always from the perspective of how each was constrained by various levels of intellectual competence.


  • cognitive development;
  • children's reasoning;
  • intellectual development;
  • stage theory