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Psychology Glossary

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Egocentrism

According to Jean Piaget and his theory of cognitive development, egocentrism is an inability on the part of a child in the preoperational stage of development to see any point of view other than their own. For example, little Suzy gets a phone call from her father, who asks little Suzy if Mommy is home. Instead of saying, "yes", little Suzy nods her head. Her father, hearing no response, asks again, to which little Suzy again nods her head. What little Suzy fails to appreciate is that her father is unable to see her nodding. Little Suzy can only take her own perspective - "I am nodding my head yes, why do you keep asking me this question?"

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