Human beings have their own characteristics that differentiate us from other animals, among these there are two closely related to the idea of concrete thought and that stand out above the others; neoteny and symbolic or abstract thought.
Neoteny is a phenomenon that occurs in some animals, such as humans, by which the individual retains infantile characteristics for a long period of time, the juvenile stage can be maintained even in adult life and has to do with time that it takes us to reach maturity compared to other animals such as dogs or primates.Abstract or symbolic thinking is the ability we have to establish meaning links between different objects, relate them and create new knowledge, associate a certain word with a sound , achieving a concrete communication on any subject.
At the beginning I said that these two concepts have to do with what we will deal with in this article, this is because to reach the levels of sophistication of our thinking, we first have to go through some previous stages, of learning and cognitive development. These stages are abnormally long compared to other animals, something that is understood, since our thinking is abnormally complex compared to other animals.
Keep reading this article by FastlyHealto discover the definition of concrete thinking and understand what are the passes through which the human being goes before having a complex thought.
Table of Contents
What is concrete thinking
Concrete thinking is a stage in the cognitive development of the human being that occurs, approximately, after 7 years of life and that usually lasts up to 11 years. From this moment, the infant can begin to know the reality that surrounds him and think about it while establishing relationships based on his senses .
From this age, children understand that they can distinguish objects by grouping them in colors, sizes or shapes, categorize them from largest to smallest or alphabetically, establish relationships of similarity and contrariety, perform mathematical operations based on observable elements, everything from a physical, palpable and observable object.
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development
Concrete thinking is one of the phases of the theory of cognitive development developed by the psychologist, epistemologist and biologist Jean Piaget . This theory allows us to distinguish and separate the different stages that the human being goes through as it matures and forms an adult mind. At each stage there are its own characteristics, based on the mental mechanisms that are created in the person’s brain and that you will see below:
- The syncretic thought arises about the second year of life, elongating until 6 or 7. At this time the child begins to be aware of the world around and uses that address the senses. He assimilates what happens in his environment and makes assertions about it, however, he is not yet capable of making generalizations or extracting a global idea about what he sees, hears and feels, he is only capable of understanding the particular.
- Generally, concrete thinking arises after 7 years and lasts until 11. This is when it manages to extract a general concept of the particular notions perceived, uses mental tools such as coordination, comparison and infraordination, all of them aimed at categorizing experiences from a logical point of view.
- Between the ages of 11 and 15 , formal thinking develops , taking a step further in the intellectual development of the human mind with the purpose of squeezing out all its potentialities as much as possible. At this stage logical propositions begin to be used, crossing them, connecting them and carrying out deduction and induction processes.
- The categorial thought is a point of cognitive development that not everyone arrives at this stage the human being is capable of, by argument and derivation of ideas, creating conceptual precategorias.
- The scientific thought is the highest level in cognitive scale, and it ‘s not just to assimilate concepts, but from scientific research is able to create new and develop new paradigms.
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