Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Egocentrism, Elkind's Contribution to Piagetian Theory
The concept of egocentrism was first introduced into developmental psychology by Jean Piaget (1955) in his classic book, The Language and Thought of the Child . In this book, Piaget revolutionized the study of children's language by exploring language development from a functional perspective. Up until this time, those who studied the growth of children's language observed the sequence in which the parts of speech emerged and/or assessed vocabulary size at successive age levels. Piaget asked a different question. He wanted to know the purpose behind children's use of language. It was in answer to this question that Piaget introduced the concept of egocentrism. What Piaget discovered was that young children often talked at , rather than to , other children. Indeed, he observed that two children purportedly speaking to one another were actually carrying on separate dialogues. Piaget labeled such interactions “collective monologues.” He said that young children often ...