The first stage of Piaget’s theory lasts from birth to approximately age two and is centered on the infant trying to make sense of the world. During the sensorimotor stage, an infant’s knowledge of the world is limited to their sensory perceptions and motor activities. Behaviors are limited to simple motor responses caused by sensory stimuli. Children utilize skills and abilities they were born with, such as looking, sucking, grasping, and listening, to learn more about the environment.
Reflexes (0-1 month):
During this substage, the child understands the environment purely through inborn reflexes such as sucking and looking.
Primary Circular Reactions (1-4 months):
This substage involves coordinating sensation and new schemas. For example, a child may such his or her thumb by accident and then later intentionally repeat the action. These actions are repeated because the infant finds them pleasurable.
Secondary Circular Reactions (4-8 months):
During this substage, the child becomes more focused on the world and begins to intentionally repeat an action in order to trigger a response in the environment. For example, a child will purposefully pick up a toy in order to put it in his or her mouth.