Obstacles to logic piaget noted four limitations that

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OBSTACLES TO LOGICPiaget noted four limitations that make logic difficult and thus make children preoperational until about age 6.These four are centration, appearance, static reasoning, and irreversibility.Centrationis the tendency to focus (to center) on only one aspect of a situation. Young children may, for example, insist that Daddyis a father, not a brother, because they center on the role that he fills for them. The daddy example illustrates a particular type ofcentration that Piaget calledegocentrism—literally, “self-centeredness.” Egocentric children contemplate the world exclusivelyfrom their personal perspective. Egocentrism is not selfishness.A second characteristic of preoperational thought is afocus on appearanceto the exclusion of other attributes. For instance, a girlgiven a short haircut might worry that she has turned into a boy. In preoperational thought, a thing is whatever it appears to be—evident in the joy children have in wearing the shoes of a grown-up, clomping noisily and unsteadily.Third, preoperational children usestatic reasoning.They believe that the world is stable, unchanging, always in the state in whichthey currently encounter it. Many children cannot imagine that their own parents were ever children. If they grasp that theirgrandmother is their mother’s mother because they are repeatedly told, they still cannot imagine how the parent–child relationshipchanges with age. One young boy told his grandmother to tell his mother to never spank him because “she has to do what her mothersays.”The fourth characteristic of preoperational thought isirreversibility.Preoperational thinkers fail to recognize that reversing aprocess sometimes restores whatever existed before. A young girl might cry because her mother put lettuce on her sandwich,rejecting it after the lettuce is removed because she believes that what is done cannot be undone.CONSERVATION AND LOGICPiaget demonstrated several ways in which preoperational intelligence disregards logic. A famous set ofexperiments involvedconservation,the notion that the amount of something remains the same (isconserved) despite changes in itsappearance.
7Sadie, age 5, carefully makes sure both glassescontain the same amount.(below, right)When oneglass of pink lemonade is poured into a wide jar, shetriumphantly points to the tall glass as having more.Sadie is like all 5-year-olds; 7-year-olds know better.The classic test of conservation begins with two identical glasses containing the same amount of liquid. Then the liquid from one glass ispoured into a taller, narrower glass. Ask a child whether one glass contains more or both glasses contain the same. Preoperational childreninsist that the narrow glass (with the higher level) has more. (Figure 5.4shows other examples.)One Logical Concept (Conservation), Many ManifestationsAccording to Piaget, until children grasp the concept of conservation at (hebelieved) about age 6 or 7, they cannot understand that the transformations shown here do not change the total amount of liquid, checkers,clay, and wood.

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