Related Overviews

Jean Piaget (1896—1980) Swiss psychologist


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Psychology


Quick Reference

Self-centredness, a term given a technical meaning in 1926 by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896–1980) to denote a cognitive state in which a child in the pre-operational stage of development comprehends the world only from its own point of view and is unaware that other people's points of view differ from its own. It implies a failure to differentiate subjective from objective aspects of experience, and it therefore imposes an unconscious personal bias on cognition. The classic demonstration of it is Piaget's three mountains task, in which a child sits in front of a table-top model of three mountains and is asked how the scene would look to a doll viewing it from a different angle; most children in the pre-operational stage (children about 5 years old, for example) consistently describe the doll's viewpoint as being the same as their own. See also automorphic perception, false-consensus effect. egocentric adj. [From Latin ego I + centrum the middle + Greek -ismos indicating a state or condition]

Subjects: Psychology.

Reference entries