Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky are one of the most prominent scientists associated with cognitive development. However, despite the existing similarities between their works, they have several fundamental differences (Huang, 2021). Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is based on the interaction of children with the outside world and the construction of so-called schemas, frameworks for information processing (Huang, 2021). In addition, the scientist singled out four stages following which the development of the child occurs. Vygotsky used a sociocultural perspective to focus on learning through social interactions (Huang, 2021). The critical factor in this context is the culture in which the child lives. Considering these two theories together, several factors can be identified that impact children’s cognitive abilities.
First, for the active development of these abilities, a person needs information for processing. Accordingly, the capacity to receive new information about the world can significantly affect cognitive abilities. Secondly, according to Vygotsky, the processes of social interaction with other people play a significant role in the child’s development (Huang, 2021). Based on the experience gained, the child builds the principles of interaction with people in the future. Finally, one can single out the culture of the society where the child is. The degree of richness of this culture can directly affect the principles of cognitive development (Huang, 2021). In addition, an essential factor influencing the child’s development is the process of self-awareness. It is combined with the need for logical and abstract analysis and acceptance of other points of view, correlating with the last two stages of Piaget’s theory (Huang, 2021). Accordingly, the process of self-awareness and self-reflection is a catalyst for other functions associated with cognitive development.
However, some influences on the child can undermine the normal development course. First, child neglection will lead to the absence of essential elements in the child’s life. They will lose the ability to receive new information and interact with society. Second, according to Ainamani et al. (2021), child abuse can directly impact the child’s physiology, leading to various diseases and insufficient cognitive development. Finally, a persistent negative or strict attitude towards a child, which includes complete control over them, significantly reduces the opportunities for self-awareness and self-regulation (Ainamani et al., 2021). Therefore, the normal process of cognitive development can be disrupted by creating an aggressive environment.
Ainamani, H. E., Rukundo, G. Z., Nduhukire, T., Ndyareba, E., & Hecker, T. (2021). Child maltreatment, cognitive functions and the mediating role of mental health problems among maltreated children and adolescents in Uganda. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 15(1), 1-11.
Huang, Y. C. (2021). Comparison and contrast of Piaget and Vygotsky’s theories. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 554, 28-32.