Longitudinal design can be used to test cognitive development in the Piagets theory. Longitudinal study involves somewhat similar to measures that are repeated in a study. In this case, variables are observed and the observations are recorded from time to time over a specific period of time Tryphon and Jacques, p.100). Longitudinal design can be used to study trends with regard to development across the life span in the same way development has been analysed in human development theory.
Longitudinal design can be used in Piaget theory that addresses issues with regard to human development. Piaget’s theory has been divided into various stages which enable the use of longitudinal design to measure development in human beings. From the age of 0-18 months, the child shows some characteristics that show that they understand the world. Within the age of 18 months to 6 years the baby uses different symbols that show that they have the capacity to communicate. In this case, longitudinal design can be used to measure the development such that ability to communicate can be identified as time go by (Santrock, p.191)
There have been a number of proposals that have been brought forward arguing that the mind of a human being grows rapidly. The mind is said to morph as a person grows from a child to an adult which is the proposal that Piaget brings forward in his theory of human development. It is this theory that he called cognitive development. In this theory, we find that Piaget postulation is that a child has to master some steps in order to successfully move to the next stage. In his theory of human development, he shows that he believed in the fact that the stages are not separate from each other (Tryphon and Jacques, p.103)
He believed that every stage is a build-up on the previous one and therefore it is a continuous learning process. There are four stages that he proposed in the process of human development that is sensor motor, pre-operational, concrete operation and finally formal operation. Through the stages, it have been established that longitudinal design can be used to in measuring human development. This is because longitudinal design requires that observations are made over a period of time to help in assessing development
Piagets in his theory of development introduces the stage that is referred to us concrete operational which is associated with children at the age of 6-12years. At this age longitudinal design can be used to show that development is taking place where logic is found to have solidified. The child has the capacity to reason about what if. These changes are measurable over time as they can be observed as the baby grows and by the use of longitudinal design human development can be measured (Tryphon and Jacques, p.151)
Longitudinal design can also be used in the last and final stage that piagent proposes in his theory of development. Piaget proposes that for children who are of the age of 12 and above they are in the stage of formal operations. In this stage, the person has the capacity to manipulate objects and ideas in his or her daily operations. The person displays their ability to engage their cognitive mind where required to and their cognitive part is well developed. In this case, human development can be measured over the period since the records with regard to the various observation made over time can be used to measure development.
Santrock, John W. Child Development. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2009. Print.
Tryphon, Anastasia, and Jacques Voneche. Working with Piaget: Essays in Honour of Barbel Inhelder. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013. Internet resource.