Mental Development – The Early Stages of Mentality

     Concerning mental development, Piaget (1969) felt that children from the ages of 3-6 years old encountered certain limitations that prevented them from having something called operational thought (the thought needed to operate effectively in society). During these years, a child goes through the process of overcoming these limitations. In particular, the problem that most children have is their sense of “one-sidedness” or “egocentric” ways of thinking. They cannot consider two points of view at the same time (i.e., their own and someone elses) as they consider the world only from their point of view. For example, children between these ages have difficulty imagining what an object looks like from another persons perspective, their conversations are usually lacking in the information that would help the listener understand (they assume the listener knows what they know) and they cannot take the mental perspective of another person.

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