Symbolic functions

I have been moving through the learning that is Piaget’s theory of Cognitive Development and came across something very familiar to me but in the wrong way.

The chapter that I was reading was about development of a child. Piaget says their are stages of development and all of what I’ve read seem very plausible and I can recall them through my children.

I do have one issue though, the second stage of cognitive development “Preoperational stage”. This stage is said to occur between the ages of 2 and 7. This stage comes equip with sub-stages and the first is Symbolic Function which occurs between 2 and 4.  One of the deficits of this sub-stage is Egocentrism which is the inability to distinguish between one’s own perspective and someone else’s perspective.

Now…. If at the age of 2 this is a challenge for us, why oh why don’t we try to master this concept at least by adulthood? It’s okay for children to expect the world to be seen through their vision only but as adults we need to adjust that thinking.

I cannot recall how many times in how many adult conversations that I’ve had to say… wait, that’s just how I see it, and it’s okay if you see it differently but it doesn’t make my view any less valid than yours. My perception is my reality and yours is yours and we should be eager to see things from another person’s view.. That way we can learn something new.



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