Preoperational intelligence

Concrete operational intelligence


1. Centration

Limited attention

Focused on one dimension

-> lack of conservation

-> egocentered

1. Decentration

Focuses on several dimensions simultaneously

Can relate them to one another

E.g. Conservation of number: length & density

Continuous quantity: height & width

Ordinal relations: bigger & smaller

2. Static

Centered on states

Ignores transformations between states

Cannot represent them

2. Dynamic

Attuned to changes

Concentrates on transformation

E.g. Pouring the liquid

Moving apart a set of objects

Rolling a ball into a sausage

-> Can reason about the consequences

3. Lacks reversibility

At best, can predict empirical reversibility

(e.g., poured back into A, will look the same)

but this doesn't lead to conservation

3. Reversibility

B->A reverses A->B

Can mentally reverse the action -> infer that quantity is unchanged

-> logical necessity

This is mental manipulation of objects;

mental 'operation' in the full sense

Another form of this: reciprocity

(Cole &Cole call this: 'compensation')

tall & thin = short & wide


These three characteristics indicate an integrated system of thought

Though thinking is still ‘tied to the concrete.’

Reasoning requires the concrete presence of the objects and events being thought about.

The child cannot deal with hypothetical situations.

(imaginary; "If..."; "If the moon were made of cheese, what would its orbit be?"