2 Today’s session You are learning about... You are learning to... Piaget’s preoperational stage (pre-conceptual period)Tests of egocentric thinkingCompare and criticise ways of investigating infant cognition
3 Piaget’s Stage Theory of Cognitive Development CharacteristicsTypical AgeSensorimotor stageSubstages 1-3Ability to deal with situations is limited to:i) Having sensations and producing actions; ii) The ‘here and now’0-8 monthsSubstages 4-6Intentional actions emerge; trial and error behaviour; object concept – object permanence develops; simple pretend play; language acquisition8-24 monthsPreoperational stagePreconceptual periodSymbolic thought develops; egocentrism; animism; centration2-4 yearsIntuitive periodJudgements based on appearance not logical thought; less egocentric; unable to conserve4-7 yearsConcrete operational stageConservation; seriation; transitivity; class inclusion7-11 yearsFormal operational stageAbstract concepts; hypothetical thinking; flexibility in thinking12+ years
4 Pre-operational stage Children form internal mental representations and think by manipulating themThey lack operations – abstract rules that underpin adult logical thinkingAs a result their thinking tends to be inconsistent and irrational from an adult’s perspective
5 Pre-operational stage Limitations on a pre-operational child’s thinking include:EgocentrismAnimismCentrationChildren continue to develop their internal representations of the world through adaptation and accommodation of new experiencesThis one is named in the spec so you need to know lots about it.
7 According to Piaget...Young children do not understand that others have a different view of the world from theirsThey assume that anyone else can see what they can seeThis egocentrism does not disappear fully until the child is 7 or 8 years old.
8 Three tests of egocentrism Three mountains task (Piaget & Inhelder, 1956)Turntable task (Borke, 1975)Boy and policemen task (Hughes, 1975)
9 Three tests of egocentrism You need to know:What is the procedure for the test?What do the results suggest about egocentrism?Ask yourselves:Is this a fair test of egocentrism?Are there features that make it easy/hard?
10 Compare the testsMake sure everyone understands all three, then ask yourselves:What are the similarities and differences?Which is the fairest test of egocentrism and why?What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?What implications do the results have for Piaget’s theory?
11 Three mountains task Involves unfamiliar materials and situation Makes heavy demands on working memoryRequires the child to respond in a difficult way
12 Turntable task Children have a chance to practise Uses familiar characters, materials & situationMakes it easy for the child to respond
13 Boy and policemen task Children have a chance to practise Only requires the child to consider what can be seen, not how it will lookThe task has ‘human sense’ – the motives and intentions of the characters are clear (Donaldson, 1978)
14 Tests of egocentrismPiaget’s methods make it difficult for younger children to respond correctly – consequently he underestimates their abilitiesChildren may not fully overcome egocentrism until 7yrs but they start to do so much earlier
15 HomeworkWrite an evaluation of Piaget and Inhelder’s (1956) ‘three mountains’ test of egocentrism. In your evaluation include:Reference to competence and performanceAlternative ways of testing egocentrismImplications for Piaget’s theory