Jean Piaget as a Pioneer of Modern Psychology: Critical Review

  • Saeed Mohammed Noori Taher College of Education - Mathematics Department\ Salahaddin University-Erbil
Keywords: Child development, Human abilities, Cognitive development


There is increased interest in Jean Piaget contributions in modern psychology because his works focused on one of the most significant fields in human’s life. However, Piaget’s theory has been criticized due to shortcoming in methodology, ambiguity in his style, and characterizing human abilities negatively. This paper aimed to review some reasons that led researchers to criticize Piaget’s theory. Also, presenting some of his contributions in child development, which have led his theories to be considered as effective ones in modern psychology. This review suggested that majority of criticisms could be regarded to misunderstand of Piaget’s contributions, language barriers and his new methods in search. In addition, some of his contribution such as his theory of cognitive development and his contribution to characterize thinking of child with adult still regarded as an effective in modern psychology. Future research of Piaget is recommended to understand his purposes, subjects, and concepts from within.


Braine, M., 1962. Piaget on reasoning: A methodological critique and alternative proposals. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 27(2), pp.41-63.
Ennis, R., 1982. Children's ability to handle Piaget's propositional logic: A conceptual critique. In S. Modgil & C. Modgil (Eds.), Jean Piaget: Consensus and controversy. London: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. pp. 101-130.
Flavell, J., 1996. Piaget's legacy. Psychological Science, 79(4), pp.200-203.
Kagan, J., 1984. The nature of the child. New York: Basic Books.
Kail, R. and Cavanaugh, J., 2010. Human development a life-Span View (5th ed.). Belmont: Cengage Learning Wadsworth.
Lourenco, O. and Machado, A., 1996. In defense of Piaget’s theory: A reply to 10 common criticisms. Psychological review, 103(1), pp.143-164.
Mandler, J., 1990. A new perspective on cognitive development in Infancy. American Scientis, 78(3), pp.236-243.
Miller, P., 2011. Theories of developmental psychology (5th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.
Piaget, J., 1950. The psychology of intelligence. New York: Harcourt Brace.
Siegler, R., 1996. Emerging minds: The process of change in children s thinking. New York: Oxford University Press.
Smith, L., 2009. Introduction II. Jean Piaget: from boy to man. In Muller, U. Carpendale, J. & Smith, J. (Eds) The Cambridge Companion to Piaget. Cambridge: Cambridge university press. pp.18 - 27.
Tudge, J. R. and Winterhoff, P. A., 1993. Vygotsky, Piaget, and Bandura: perspective on the relation between the social world and cognitive development. Human development, 36(1), pp.61-81.
Wynn, K., 2002. Do infants have numerical expectations or just perceptual preferences?. Developmental Science, 5(2), pp.207–209.
How to Cite
Noori Taher S. Jean Piaget as a Pioneer of Modern Psychology: Critical Review. JAHS [Internet]. 20Nov.2021 [cited 5Dec.2021];25(5):335 -39. Available from: