Stages of Intellectual and Social Development

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This work will review the many stages of the intellectual and social development of people. Humans do not reach full mental maturity until their adolescent years or young adult years, in the case of men. While this can be partly obvious, many people keep expecting children to act and think like adults. As a result, it is of utmost importance to understand the social and intellectual stages of development to set realistic expectations for children.

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To start with, Jean Piaget differentiates between four different stages of intellectual development. According to Piaget, the first stage, or sensory-motor period, lasts through the first two years of the child’s life (Staff, 2019). During this phase, a child learns to grasp, suck, develop reflexive behaviors, and deferred imitation (Staff, 2019). Later, during the preoperational period, from two to seven years, a child begins to become more social and develops logical concepts, until the start of the concrete operations period. This stage lasts seven to 12 years and indicates a complete establishment of rational thought and comprehension of the principle of conversation (Staff, 2019). In the last period, which starts at 12 years, an individual performs more challenging tasks and can think abstractly.

It can be seen that four stages can define social and intellectual development. However, Levinson argues that the most significant developments occur in childhood, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood (Lifespan development and lifelong learning, 2013). Additionally, unlike Piaget, Levinson points out that each person undergoes the process of individuation throughout these stages. While Piaget concentrated on physical changes, Levinson stressed that individuation is a vital phase when a child learns about their separate existence.

Therefore, one of the raised questions, the question of the stage at which the child becomes aware of oneself and becomes more social, is quite interesting, and I would like to explore it further. Additionally, the issue of identity establishment has always been of importance to me. Thus, the question for the group is, by what time do people reach the entire establishment of their identity?

When it comes to the theory of Alfred Adler, the psychologist stated that the order of birth influenced an individual’s lifestyle, strengths, and weaknesses. According to Adler, the firstborn is in a favorable position at first. However, with the arrival of a second child, the firstborn might face challenges that another child stole the attention.


Lifespan development and lifelong learning. (2013). Infed.Org. Web.

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Staff, P. T. (2019). The stages of intellectual development in children and teenagers. Child Development Institute. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, November 20). Stages of Intellectual and Social Development. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2022, November 20). Stages of Intellectual and Social Development.

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"Stages of Intellectual and Social Development." PsychologyWriting, 20 Nov. 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Stages of Intellectual and Social Development'. 20 November.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Stages of Intellectual and Social Development." November 20, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Stages of Intellectual and Social Development." November 20, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Stages of Intellectual and Social Development." November 20, 2022.