Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cognition, Theories of
Billie G. Blair
As early as the 1950s, cognitive theory was proposed by early psychologists such as J. P. Guilford, who described cognition as the awareness of objects, qualities, and ideas. Jean Piaget's thoughts on cognition depicted the evolutionary and developmental processes that spanned from the first sensory-motor reactions through the formation of reflective thought. Piaget held that the behavior of the human organism begins with organization of sensory-motor reactions and increases in intelligence as coordination between reactions to objects becomes progressively more interrelated and complex. His first stage of cognitive development, the sensorimotor stage , involves the coordination of sense impressions and movements. During this stage, relationships between experience and action are established. At the first step of the stage, actions are focused on sensible organization of the perceptual field. During the second step, habits, or fixed ways of responding, are developed; the transition between basic habit and intelligence is completed during ...