Preoperational Stage

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  • The second in four stages of cognitive development proposed by Jean Piaget (1896 1980). At some point during the child's second year, developments in memory lead to permanence with respect to people no longer in view; that is, the child understands that others are still there even if they are out of the child's visual field. Children also become more verbal and abstract in their thinking during this period, starting to use words and images to symbolize objects. In this stage, reasoning is typically intuitive and prelogical, and as such, children at this stage of development often have difficulty performing mental operations. This stage of development is further characterized by two features—egocentrism and conservation. For more information, see Piaget (1954).

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