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This page presents an overview of the development of intellectual abilities. Until they reach the age of 15 or so they are not capable of reasoning as an adult. The following information is based on the work of Jean Piaget. He was a developmental biologist who devoted his life to closely observing and recording the intellectual abilities of infants, children and adolescents. The stages of intellectual development formulated by Piaget appear to be related to major developments in brain growth. The human brain is not fully developed until late adolescence or in the case of males sometimes early adulthood. We often expect children to think like adults when they are not yet capable of doing so.
Simple reflex activity such as grasping, sucking. Reflexive behaviors occur in stereotyped repetition such as opening and closing fingers repetitively. Repetition of change actions to reproduce interesting consequences such as kicking one’s feet to more a mobile suspended over the crib. Responses become coordinated into more complex sequences. Discovery of new ways to produce the same consequence or obtain the same goal such as the infant may pull a pillow toward him in an attempt to get a toy resting on it.