Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Egocentrism: Egocentrism in psychology is the inability to see things from another person's perspective. It is a normal part of cognitive development in children, but it can persist into adulthood in some people.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Jean Piaget on Egocentrism - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 78
Egocentrism/Piaget/Upton: [a] limitation to logical thinking at [the age of two and three years] is egocentrism, the inability to distinguish between your own perspective and someone else’s. Piaget and Inhelder (1969)(1) studied children’s egocentrism using their ‘three mountains task’ (…). In this task the child walks around the model of the mountains in order to familiarise themselves with what the mountains look like from different perspectives.
The child is then seated at the table and a researcher places a doll in different locations around the table. At each location the child is asked to select the doll’s view from a number of photos. Piaget found that preschool children are unable to choose the correct photo.
Interpretation/VsPiaget: Piaget’s experiments such as the three mountain task are reliable ((s) reproducible). But authors disagree with Piaget’s interpretation: Woolley (1997)(2) disagrees with the idea that children’s thinking is more magical than that of adults.
>Magical thinking/Piaget
, >Psychological theories on magical thinking, >Magical thinking/Philosophy.
Adults have been found to be just as likely as
Upton I 79
children to engage in magical thinking, especially when they do not have the knowledge to explain phenomena. Adults invent speculation to fill gaps in their knowledge, much as children do. It is therefore the social context that determines whether or not adults or children engage in magical thinking.

1. Piaget, J. and Inhelder, B. (1969) The Psychology of the Child. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
2. Woolley, J.D. (1997) Thinking about fantasy: are children fundamentally different thinkers and believers than adults? Child Development, 68: 991–1011.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Piag I
J. Piaget
The Psychology Of The Child 2nd Edition 1969

Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011

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