Naturally Immoral: The Purpose Of Egocentrism In Children.
1213 WordsMay 3, 20175 Pages
Naturally Immoral: The Purpose of Egocentrism in Children
In our society, people who only think about themselves and their own needs are considered “egotistical” and morally wrong, but for children this comes naturally. In fact, Piaget believes all children have a deficiency of preoperational thinking that he calls “egocentrism” (Berk, 2013). But if society frowns upon self-centeredness, why do children still use egocentric thinking? If parents, adults, and other role models do not encourage this behavior, there must be another explanation. I believe that egocentrism is a biological adaptation all children are born with and outgrow overtime. Egocentrism is a necessity for young children early on, but must dissipate once the child matures…show more content…
This demonstrates the child has egocentric thinking as well as how this type of thinking works by showing how these children believe that the other person sees exactly what they see.
Piaget also offers examples of egocentrism in children from observations outside of a laboratory. In his work, he gives the example of a young child who wrapped a toy truck as a present for his mother on her birthday. The boy “gave it to his mother with an expression that clearly showed he expected her to love it,” (Crain, 2015). Since the child expected his mother to enjoy the gift, he was not giving it to her out of selfishness. Instead, he gave it to her because he legitimately believed she would enjoy the toy because he enjoyed the toy. He could not comprehend the idea that his mother has different likes, feelings, or opinions than his own. Through examples such as this, Piaget strongly demonstrates how egocentric thinking in children occurs all the time in daily life.
So we know that egocentrism is definitely present in children, but why is that so? To answer this question, we need to look deeper into human nature. From birth, infants show slight signs of egocentric thought processes in their behaviors. Specifically, infants cry when they want to attract attention from people. This is because the infant is in pain or distress of some kind, and they want a caretaker to fix their problem (Choonara, 1999). Since infants are