APA Format Essay Example: Cognitive Development

Ways in which Cognitive Development Influences other areas of child Development

Cognitive development is very critical to the development of a child as it either accelerates or decelerates the development of a child in other areas of development. For instance, the intelligence of a child is largely determined by the cognitive development of that particular child . For instance, the large volumes of information found in the internet allow children to read them in a short span of time. As the children read, they are able to extra think and reason as compared to when reading a textbook. This increases their mental activities and abilities thus boosting their ability to locate information from the storage part of the brain (Jaffe, “Rewired: Cognitive Development in the Digital Age”).

Apart from intelligence, the cognitive development of a child as well affects other areas such as the ability to multi-task. According to Oakley (2014), children who have grown in the internet era have a higher ability to multitask as compared to children who have no access to internet. This is because children in the digital age have been able to multitask by texting and responding to online messages as they study. What is even shocking is that, research has indicated that students who multitask while studying could produce the same results as the students who did not multitask. This was due to the reason that their brain was able to under plastic deformation where it changed its structure and wiring to adapt to the new environment. Cognitive development was responsible for the changes that occurred to their brains

From the two discussed ways, intelligence is apparently observed at the tender age of the child as opposed to multitasking. This is because; the intelligence of a child can be noticed by the way the child responds to the environment. For instance, they may be asking curious question related to the environment in which they are in indicating that their reasoning ability is higher than we expected (Oakley, 2014). Moreover, the child might perform exemplary well in their kindergarten school level portraying high intelligence level. On the other hand, the ability to multitask may not necessarily be observed at the tender age of the child since the brain a child is not fully developed. The child tends to focus on a single task at a time hence they would not have the ability to multitask.

Comparing and contrasting theories of cognitive development

Many theories have evolved about the process of cognitive development from childhood to adulthood.  For instance, Jean Piaget’s theory suggests that cognitive development takes place in four distinct stages (Shaffer and Kipp, 2013).  The first stage is the sensorimotor stage which occurs between birth and when the child is two years of age. This is followed by the preoperational reasoning stage occurring between 3-7 years, then the concrete operational reasoning stage between the age of 8-13 years and finally the formal operation reasoning stage, which transpires at the age of above 13 years old.

Stiles (2012) insists that this theory is similar to Lev vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development in that the both agree that cognitive development is a gradual process that occurs in the brain of the child. However, the two theories have some differences. For example, Paigets emphasizes on stages involved shaping the cognitive development while vygotsky insists on cultural background to have a higher effect on shaping the development.

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development can be applied at home where a child grows up in home that has a fireplace. At the sensorimotor stage, the child would not be interested even if the fire is put off while at the second stage, the child will be able to think that the fire only lights up and goes off by its self. In the third stage of development, the child will realize that the fire can be light up by a matchstick and can be put off by water by will not understand why. In the last stage, the child will now be able to understand why the fire can be put on by a matchstick and be put off by water. This is quite different from the Vygotsky’s theory where the child where a child brought up in a home embracing his own culture would perform their homes chores like washing utensils and cooking better than a child brought up in a culture different from their origin.

In addition, Paiget theory can be observed even in the school environment. A child would not be interested whether their pen would write or not. In their second stage, they would think that the pen only writes when they want it to while in the third stage, the child would understand that pen writes when it is filled with ink but they would not know why. In the final stage, the child would realize that pen would write when with ink since the ink flows down to the ballpoint. According to Vygotsky, a child would understand better things that they were taught from their cultural background than things that they were taught from a foreign culture.


Cognitive development is a process that occurs gradually and theorughtout the lifespan of an individual. It helps us in developing other many broad areas of our development such as intelligence and the ability to multitask. As discussed above, there are many theories that try to explain how cognitive development takes place such as the Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky’s theories.



Jaffe, E. (2015). Rewired: Cognition in the Digital Age. Retrieved from; http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2012/february-12/rewired.html

Oakley, L., (2014). Cognitive Development. Psychology Press.

Shaffer, D., Kipp, K., (2013). Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence. Cengage Learning Press.