Symbolic Function Substage

In Piaget's theory of cognitive development, the second stage is called preoperational thought and it has two substages: Symbolic Function substage and Intuitive Thought substage. Between the ages of 2 and 4, a child can perform Symbolic Functions or think about objects even though they are not real or present. At this stage, they engage in rich pretend play and use more language.

For example, a child will sing to a teddy bear and pretend to put it to sleep. They can also exhibit egocentrism where they only see their point of view, or animism, where inanimate objects are considered lifelike. This child can therefore get very attached to the teddy bear because it considers the toy to be a living friend.

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