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Jean Piaget (1996-1980) was an enormously influential child psychologist. His structuralist philosophy held that “In all fields of life (organic, mental, social) there exist ‘totalities’ qualitatively distinct from their parts and imposing on them an organization.”

In 1919, Piaget conducted intelligence tests under the direction of Alfred Binet. Piaget became fascinated not so much with measuring IQ as with determining why children made logical errors. Piaget subsequently devoted his life's work to determining how children passed through stages of cognitive development via accommodation and assimilation to construct cognitive schemas.

Piaget conducted empirical research on "genetic epistemology" – the sequential development of logic throughout childhood. He concluded that, "the growth of knowledge is a progressive construction of logically embedded structures superseding one another by a process of inclusion of lower less powerful logical means into higher and more powerful ones up to adulthood."

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