Ages: 2 years to 7 years
Piaget titled the stage following the sensorimotor stage the preoperational stage. Piaget believed that children in this stage were not capable of understanding certain cognitive schemes labeled operations.
The cognitive schemes/tasks that children at the preoperational stage cannot perform, according to Piaget's theory, follow.
The recognition that properties of an object or substance do not change when its appearance is altered in some superficial way.
The 3 - mountain task
A three-dimensional mountain is placed in front of a child. A house is set on one of the mountains. Next, the conductor sets "Dolly" at a certain angle, usually opposite the child, and asks the child what view Dolly sees. Child will respond with the view he/she sees.
Understanding less than and more than. Children in the preoperational stage do not understand; therefore, they cannot arrange objects by sequence.
Children in the preoperational stage cannot think of an object simultaneously belonging to both a subclass and superordinate class.
Transitive inference is using logic to find the missing piece. For example, "a" is greater than "b" and "b" is greater than "c." Children in the preoperational stage don't understand that "a" is also greater than "c."
The preoperational stage is also characterized by the deficiencies in logical thinking children at this stage display.
Children in the preoperational stage have trouble viewing the world from a perspective different from their own.
The 3-mountain task tests the child's egocentrism
This is a tendency to focus on a single aspect of a problem rather than looking at the whole picture.
Children at the preoperational stage make choices based on salient features, not logic.
Children at the preoperational stage have the tendency to focus on the perceptual aspect of a task and not the logical aspect.
Giving life-like characteristics to inanimate objects.
If 2 events occur together, child at the preoperational stage assumes one caused the other.