Skip to content

Mental Health Center

Font Size

Egocentric and Magical Thinking - Topic Overview

Egocentric thinking is the normal tendency for a young child to see everything that happens as it relates to him- or herself. This is not selfishness. Young children are unable to understand different points of view. For example, a preschool child might sympathize with his or her father and try to comfort him by offering a favorite toy or stuffed animal, reasoning that what helps the child feel better will also comfort the adult. Egocentric thinking also can cause a young child to feel responsible if something bad happens.

Magical thinking is a child's belief that what he or she wishes or expects can affect what really happens. For example, if a child wants very much for something to happen, and it does, the child believes he or she caused it to happen. If your daughter is mad at her brother and wants him to leave, and he then gets sick and goes to the hospital, your daughter may think her brother's illness is her fault.

Recommended Related to Children

General Information About Unusual Cancers of Childhood

Unusual cancers of childhood are cancers rarely seen in children. Cancer in children and teenagers is rare. Since 1975, the number of new cases of childhood cancer has slowly increased. Since 1975, the number of deaths from childhood cancer has decreased by more than half. Unusual cancers are so rare that most children's hospitals might see less than a handful of some types in several years. Because the unusual cancers are so rare, there is not a lot of information about what treatment works best...

Read the General Information About Unusual Cancers of Childhood article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: February 22, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Egocentric and Magical Thinking Topics

    Today on WebMD

    contemplation
    Differences between feeling depressed or feeling blue.
    lunar eclipse
    Signs of mania and depression.
     
    man screaming
    Causes, symptoms, and therapies.
    woman looking into fridge
    When food controls you.
     
    Woman standing in grass field barefoot, wind blowi
    Article
    senior man eating a cake
    Article
     
    Phobias
    Slideshow
    woman reading medicine warnings
    Article
     
    depressed young woman
    Article
    thumbnail_tired_woman_yawning
    Article
     
    veteran
    Article
    overturned shot glass
    Article
     

    WebMD Special Sections