An Overview Of The Stages Of Cognitive Development


A couple of young men standing next to a building

In speaking of the stages of cognitive development, we are referring to a systematic process of learning and instruction. There are a number of developmental stages that we follow, and the psychologist would classify us in each developmental stage according to certain criteria.

Cognitive Development: First Stage

An Overview Of The Stages Of Cognitive Development
An Overview Of The Stages Of Cognitive Development

The first stage is also called the Immediate Cognition or the very first stage of cognitive development, as it is simply the point at which we can recognize the things that surround us and form habits. If you are newborn, then the external environment provides the stimulus for learning.

Second Stage

The second stage is more of an exercise in integrating new information or learning, in terms of the Second Cognition. We are now able to figure out how things work. At this point, we are also able to understand more about our minds and our body and even our relationships.

Third Stage

The third stage is the Point of Acknowledgment or the acquisition of knowledge, where we are able to use the Second Cognition and the Third Cognition to come up with new ideas. The stage is also known as the Deterioration, where we are already aware of limitations and are not able to cope with difficulties. This is the point when it becomes clear that the Second and Third Cognitions are no longer relevant.

Fourth Stage

The fourth stage is the Delusion, the most advanced stage. During this period, we have access to many cognitive tools to solve problems. However, we are not able to integrate them properly and are therefore not able to reach the fourth Stage.

Fifth Stage: Cognitive Development

The fifth stage is the Retreat, the stage in which we return to our comfort zone and are able to engage in mentally repetitive activities. We start thinking of theories and concepts and find our minds drifting. Finally, we find ourselves repeating what we have learned.

Sixth Stage

The sixth stage is the Transition or the Last Frontier of cognitive development, where we are finally capable of linking our thoughts with our actions. At this point, we become mentally fit and we are able to solve problems.

Seventh Stage: Cognitive Development

The seventh stage is the Final Frontier of cognitive development, the one where we get what we want. At this point, we can do whatever we want and we know what we want to do. Our lives are meaningful and we make decisions according to their logic.

Eighth Stage

The eighth stage is the Unknown, the stage of our cognitive development where we know everything and we don’t know anything. It is our stage of adult development, where we can make decisions and solve problems using our instincts and our mental tools.

While the developmental stages all overlap each other, the only thing that differs from one developmental stage to another is the relative age of the person. Also, there are other psychological factors that influence the cognitive stages. That is why the stages are not necessarily chronological.

Bottom Line

An Overview Of The Stages Of Cognitive Development
An Overview Of The Stages Of Cognitive Development

As we develop, our thinking and reasoning skills improve, our memories get longer and we start to incorporate new ideas into our cognitive development. We begin to use different theories to solve problems and come up with new concepts. In the process, we learn new aspects of life.

When we reach the later stages of cognitive development, we can make decisions for ourselves and we become aware of our surroundings. We become self-sufficient and we have the will to learn more.

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