Maturation is the process by which we change, grow and develop throughout life. Developmental psychologists observe many different types of maturation across the lifespan. The types of maturation we will focus on in this lesson are physical maturation and cognitive maturation.
Physical maturation focuses on the physical changes that occur as we age. For example, at birth, we mainly use reflexes to interact with the world. Sucking is a reflex that allows us to ingest food. As we age, we don’t rely as much on our reflexes because we develop gross motor skills such as crawling, sitting, walking and running. We also develop fine motor skills for things like writing and drawing. We grow taller and our weight increases. We go from babies to toddlers, from children to teenagers, and finally, adults. Surprisingly, though, we don’t stop maturing once we become adults! Through the senescence process, or aging, we move from early adulthood to middle age and finally to late adulthood. Physical changes happen at each of these stages. All are examples of physical maturation.
Why do babies think hide and seek is funny, but adults would probably think you were crazy if you asked them to play? Cognitive maturation is the way we change our thinking patterns throughout life, and its principles will help explain why babies find hide-and-seek funny while adults do not.
Jean Piaget , a renowned developmental psychologist, created a theory of the stages of cognitive development in humans that examines the changes that happen in most people’s thinking patterns from birth through maturation. Piaget‘s first stage of cognitive development, the sensorimotor stage , occurs from birth to two years of age and culminates in the achievement of object permanence. Object permanence is the reason adults don’t find hide and seek funny. Adults, unlike babies, realize that the person is still there even though they cannot see them.Babies don’t realize this because they haven’t developed object permanence yet.
The next stage in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development lasts from approximately two to six years of age and is called the preoperational stage . This period of cognitive development focuses on language development and imaginative play. Next in Piaget‘s theory is the concrete operational stage . This stage lasts from six to 11 years old and is marked by an increase in the use of scientific method and the way in which we can make conjectures. However, it is sometimes difficult to understand the logic. Piaget‘s final stage begins at approximately age 12 and continues into adulthood. This is the formal operational stage and achievements here include abstract and hypothetical thinking.These are all examples of cognitive maturation.
What is the difference between maturation and learning?
• Definitions of maturation and learning
• Learning is a process that results in a change in behavior in an individual.
• Maturation is a process in which the individual learns to react to situations appropriately.
• Law Suit
• Learning occurs through practice and experience.
• Maturation occurs through individual growth and development.
• External stimuli
• Learning is a response to external stimuli that result in individual change.
• Maturation does not need external stimuli.
• Maturation and Learning
• Maturation influences the learning process. If an individual has not reached the required level of maturity, a particular learning behavior cannot be expected.