Psychology “Development through the Lifespan”




Psychology “Development through the Lifespan”

1. Jean Piaget’s concrete operational stage spans the years from seven to eleven and marks a crucial turning point in cognitive development. It has five distinct characteristics, which include, “realism, animism, conservation, ordering, and artificialism” (Piaget, 2001). During the conservation stage, the child begins to understand some things that baffled them when they were toddlers. Another characteristic is the ordering stage in which the children comprehend the notion of ordering. During this age, the child should be able to put things in a defined order such as from the smallest to the largest. Realism is the next characteristic, and it involves the child confusing events in their minds with reality. It also occurs in stages; first, the children believe that dreams are a projection of their outward, physical surroundings and that they utilize their eyes to perceive these virtual thoughts. After this, they understand that dreams are coming from their minds, but they believe that they are happening in the physical space that is directly in their sight. Finally, they understand that dreams only occur in a person’s mind (Salkind, 2006).

Animism is an additional attribute of the tangible operational phase of a young person. During this period, the child makes lifeless entities animated, but they later realize that not everything possesses life. The final characteristic is the artificialism stage whereby the children begin to believe that they are the midpoint of the world. They also begin to believe that man created all things like the sun and the moon, for instance. They progress until they finally appreciate that the formation of the universe is not related to any aspect of humankind. Cultural practices may affect the child’s mastery if the piagetian tasks especially those associated with schooling. This is because some cultures are superstitious and this may lead to the child being unable to distinguish the tales and dreams from the reality. This may affect the child’s schoolwork. The characteristic that I believe to be true is the realism stage, this is because it indeed does happen in children, and it is a documented fact, and it is easy for one to tell its stages apart. The characteristic that I doubt is the conservation stage; this is because the stages are not very distinct and measurable. One cannot tell if the child has attained this age or not.

2. The IQ test performance is not an accurate assessment of a person’s intellectual capacity. This is because the questions are formulated on a one shoe fits all basis. This is not appropriate since everyone is different with different strengths and weaknesses. The test should keep this in mind before giving the IQ level of the person. Some factors like culture and educational experience may influence the performance of the person. This is because they may answer some questions based on their beliefs or on the education that they have acquired. Because of this fact, the test cannot predict the academic achievement of the person as it is not a true indication of the intellect to the person.

3. Two characteristics mark this stage of development. The first is ‘hypothetic-deductive reasoning’. This occurs when the adolescent is faced with a problem, and they come up with a general theory of all factors that may affect the outcome of the problem. They then systematically delete the irrelevant ones until they remain with the ones that may present a solution to their problem. The other is a propositional characteristic (Larkin, 2009).

In this case, the adolescents focus on verbal assertions that lead to an evaluation of their logical validity without referring to real world circumstances. This is different from the concrete operational children who evaluate the logic of statements only by considering them against concrete evidence (Mowder, et al, 2009). The opposing argument that challenges Piaget’s notion of a new, discrete stage of cognitive development at adolescence is the reality that was confirmed which asserts that the development did not occur in stages but rather in one key development with several changes involved. All individuals reach the formal operational stage except in the case of people with mental disabilities.

4. Heinz ought to take the drug without permission because it is the only way for him to prevent his wife from dying. It is wrong for him to steal because it is unlawful and morally wrong. In this case, Heinz has a responsibility to wrongfully take the drug since it this the only way for him to prevent his ailing wife from dying. If Heinz did not feel affection for his wife, it may alter his decision to the negative, and he may not steal the drug for her. The element of love makes a difference because one can do anything possible to save the person that they love. For a stranger, Heinz should not pilfer the medicine since he does not know the person and it will be of no use that he puts himself in harm’s way. For a pet, he should not pilfer the medicine since the pet is easily replaceable as opposed to his wife. People should do what they can to save another’s life since it is their moral responsibility.

However, it is unrealistic for a person to risk his or her own life for a stranger. It is against the law to steal, and this makes it morally wrong. This is because the laws govern morality. People should do everything they can to obey the laws because if they do not they risk being arrested and thrown into jail. In some circumstances, however, one may break the law, for example, Heinz. The most responsible thing for Heinz to de is obtain an asset of equal value to balance and use it as collateral in order to obtain the drug he needs. This sample dilemma accurately assesses moral reasoning since it has provided a realistic scenario. Moral reasoning influences behavior because people’s actions are affected by their thoughts. Culture affects moral reasoning as well because the beliefs of a group of people play a role on the reasoning of the person and their morality.


Larkin, S. (2009). Metacognition in young children. London: Routledge.

Mowder, B. A., Rubinson, F., & Yasik, A. E. (2009). Evidence-based practice in infant and early childhood psychology. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.

Piaget, J. (2001). The psychology of intelligence. London: Routledge.

Salkind, N. J. (2006). Encyclopedia of human development. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications


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