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The Egocentric Child - Childhood Today Seminar Series

Jim Stack seminar Friday 20 November 2015

Dr Jim Stack, Lecturer in Education, hosted the second seminar of the Childhood Today Series ran by the University’s Faculty of Education. Titled The Egocentric Child: An Exploration of Contemporary Experiences of Children, the focus of Jim’s seminar looked at Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Theory research and compared that to his own research which aims to discover at what age infants become socially aware of other people and how they perceive the world.

In the seminar, Jim talked attendees through Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Theory and how this determined that only children aged seven years and over are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes. Jim then went on to explain how this theory has been disproved by a number of other researchers, who discovered that the test used to determine the theory of mind of younger children was too complicated for them to understand.

Jim demonstrated his methodologies to the audience using the same toys he has used in his research, explaining how his research methodology, unlike Piaget’s, is more appropriate to the child’s age. So far in his research, Jim has found that infants as young as 12 months old have a visual perspective and that by 22 months they have an appreciation of an agent’s perspective.

Speaking about his discovery when analysing the results of his findings, Jim said “I found that this wasn’t a Piaget infant, this is a highly cognitive infant making sense of other people’s state”.

If you would like to find out more about Jim’s research, you can email him on

View the full Childhood Today Seminar Series Programme.

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