Other Free Encyclopedias » Psychology Encyclopedia » Psychological Dictionary: Ibn Bajjah (Abu-Bakr Muhammad ibn-Yahya ibn-al-Saʼigh, c.1106–38) Biography to Perception: cultural differences

Logical Thinking

trait theory piaget stages of development children piaget intensional child

The ability to understand and to incorporate the rules of basic logical inference in everyday activities.

Regarded as a universal human trait, the ability to think logically, following the rules of logical inference, has traditionally been defined as a higher cognitive skill. The field of cognitive child psychology was dominated for more than half a century by the Swiss philosopher and psychologist Jean Piaget, whose studies are considered fundamental. Piaget identified four stages of cognitive development. During the sensory-motor stage (ages 0-2), the child learns to experience the world physically and attains a rudimentary grasp of symbols. In the preoperational stage (ages 2-7), symbols are used, but thought is still "preoperational," which means that the child does not understand that a logical, or mathematical, operation can be reversed. The concrete operations stage (ages 6 or 7-11) ushers in logical thinking; children, for instance, understand principles such as cause and effect. The formal operations stage (12-adulthood), introduces abstract thinking (i.e., thought operations that do not need to relate to concrete concepts and phenomena).

Logical thinking, in Piaget's developmental scheme, is operational, which means that it does not appear before the concrete operations stage. While students of child cognition generally agree with Piaget's developmental milestones, subsequent research in the area has led researchers to question the idea that some logical thinking cannot appear in the preoperational stage. For example, Olivier Houdè and Camilo Charron tested a group of 72 children between the ages of five and eight, giving them various tasks related to classes of objects, and found that children who could not perform extensional logic tasks were nevertheless able to practice intensional logic. (Intension defines the properties of a class, while extension determines who or what can be a member of a particular class; if the intension of a class is "red objects," the extension will include any particular object that happens to be red.) However, Piaget knew that preoperational children could practice intensional logic, but, in his view, incomplete logical thought was, by definition, pre-logical. For example, children who understand the meaning (intensionality) of a "red objects" class may decide not to include certain red objects—for reasons that the experimenter would define as illogical (e.g.: "it's too little").

Houdè and Charron have identified an "operational proto-logic" in children whom Piaget would define as pre-logical. Instead of arbitrarily promoting purely intensional thinking to the rank of full-fledged (extensional and intensional) logical thought, Houdè and Charron decided to investigate the mental processes underlying seemingly illogical behavior. In a series of experiments involving children aged five to eight, a group straddling the pre-operational/operational boundary, the two researchers focused on the intensional logicians who failed the extensional logic (inclusion). Clearly, the act of not including some red object in the "red objects" class was, in a strictly Piagetian sense, illogical, or, more precisely, illogical behavior, but was that behavior determined by irrational thinking? To their surprise, they found, particularly in a modified form of the "partition" experiment (Piaget and Garcia, 1987), that, when shown the drawing of a circle (B) divided into two by a line (the two subclasses being A and A'), A' may be ignored as a subclass of B, not because of illogical thinking, but because A is more compelling from the point of view of perception. According to Pascual-Leone (Pascual-Leone, 1988), there is a misleading scheme underlying the perception of B, and a subclass is excluded. According to Houdè and Charron, the child understands the intensional logic, or meaning, of the "red objects" class, but stumbles at the extensional, or inclusion, level because of perceptual factors. Thus, the undeniable Piagetian shift, around the age of seven years, from non-inclusive to inclusive behavior does not indicate a quantum leap from pre-logical to logical thinking, but, rather, reflects the presence of an inhibiting mechanism, whereby the confusing effect of perception on cognition is neutralized. Thus, as Houdè and Charron have remarked, a non-inclusive six-year-old may have an inefficient inhibiting mechanism. These findings, although suggesting a continuum model of cognitive development, as opposed to the Piagetian idea of a quantum leap from pre-logical to logical thinking, does not, in fact question the foundations of Piaget's essentially developmental theory of cognition. Piaget himself, in his search for the origins of logical thinking, studied very young children, ever mindful of the relevance of other mental, and non-mental, factors and processes to the emergence of logical thought. Finally, Piaget's work was the foundation from which emerged the insight, corroborated by empirical observation, that the very young child is already a logician.

Philosophers specializing in the study of childhood have found that the logical repertoire of young children is not limited to intensional logic. Many utterances made by children, particularly statements involving the concepts of possibility and necessity, exhibit a grasp, albeit rudimentary, of modal logic, i.e., the branch of logic which formulates rules for propositions about possibility and necessity (Matthews, 1980). The fact that the discourse of young children fits easily into the formal context of modal logic, which is related to intensional logic, indicates that the children's logical aptitude may yield new surprises. Building on the rich legacy of Piaget's work, researchers have significantly expanded the field of cognitive development, gaining critical insights which will further elucidate the human paradigm. The crucial relevance of Piagetian and post-Piagetian studies for the inquiry concerning logical thinking in children lies in the fact that these studies have shed light on the important role played by non-logical, and non-mental, factors in the formation of logical thought.

Zoran Minderovic

Further Reading

Inhelder, Bärbel, and Jean Piaget. The Early Growth of Logic in the Child: Classification and Seriation. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964.

Matthews, Gareth B. Philosophy and the Young Child. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980.

Pascal-Leone, J. "Organismic Processes for Neo-Piagetian Theories: A Dialectical Causal Account of Cognitive Development." In The Neo-Piagetian Theories of Cognitive Development: Toward an Integration. A. Demetriou, ed. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1988.

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 1 year ago

Please may you provide a reference for the study by Olivier Houdè and Camilo Charron ive looked everywhere and cant find any information regarding this study. Many thanks

Vote down Vote up

about 1 year ago

Quickbooks Support Number @ http://www.quickbooks.intuit-techsupport.com/
Quickbooks Support Phone Number @ http://www.quickbooks.support-phonenumber.com/
Quicken Support Phone Number @ http://www.quicken.support-phonenumber.com/
Quicken Support Number @ http://www.quicken.intuit-techsupport.com/
Sage Support Phone Number @ http://www.sage.support-phonenumber.com/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago


Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about:
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-kolkata/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-ahmedabad/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-surat/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago


Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about:

http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-surat/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-navimumbai/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-ahmedabad/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago


Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about:

http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago


Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about:

http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-kolkata/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/

Vote down Vote up

about 2 years ago


thanks for sharing with us that awesome artilcle you have amazing blog
http://www.happynewyear2016-images.com
http://www.recipefrance.com/2015/04/meilleur-images-de-bonne-annee-2016.html
http://www.felizanonuevo2016frases.com
http://www.recipefrance.com/2015/04/journee-internationale-des-droits-des-femmes-2016.html

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Delhi Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
Gurgaon Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
Noida Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
Ghaziabad Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
Faridabad Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
http://4ad.in/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Delhi Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
Gurgaon Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
Noida Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
Ghaziabad Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
Faridabad Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
http://4ad.in/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Pune Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
Bangalore Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
Navi Mumbai Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-navi-mumbai/
Thane Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-thane/
Mumbai Packers and Movers @ http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

For Shifting and Transporting Services::-

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-hyderabad/ @ Packkers and Movers Hyderabad

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-bangalore/ @ Packers and Movers Bangalore

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-chennai/ @ Packers and Movers Chennai

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-pune/ @ Packers and Movers Pune

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-mumbai/ @ Packers and Movers Mumbai

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-delhi/ @ Packers and Movers Delhi

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-gurgaon/ @ Packers and Movers Gurgaon

http://www.export5th.in/ @ Packers and Movers in India

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers Chennai @
http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai/
Packers and Movers Hyderabad @
http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/
Packers and Movers Bangalore @
http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
Packers and Movers Mumbai @
http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Top 5 Packers and Movers in Bangalore or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
Top 5 Packers and Movers in Delhi or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
Top 5 Packers and Movers in Noida or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
Top 5 Packers and Movers in Ghaziabad or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
Top 5 Packers and Movers in Faridabad or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
http://4ad.in/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Top 5 Packers and Movers in Pune or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
Top 5 Packers and Movers in Mumbai or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
Top 5 Packers and Movers in Navi Mumbai or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-navi-mumbai/
Top 5 Packers and Movers in Thane or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-thane/
Top 5 Packers and Movers in Gurgaon or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers Pune @
http://www.expert5th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
Packers and Movers Pune or
http://packersmoverspune.top3rd.in/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers Gurgaon @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-gurgaon/
Packers and Movers Chennai @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-chennai/
Packers and Movers Noida @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-noida/
Packers and Movers Thane @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-thane/
Packers and Movers Navi Mumbai @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-navimumbai/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers Hyderabad @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-hyderabad/
Packers and Movers Bangalore @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-bangalore/
Packers and Movers Pune @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-pune/
Packers and Movers Mumbai @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-mumbai/
Packers and Movers Delhi @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-delhi/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

In this way they serve the people from all over the countries for storage and warehouse purposes.

Top 3 Packers and Movers in Faridabad @ http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
Top 3 Packers and Movers in Noida @ http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
Top 3 Packers and Movers in Delhi @ http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
Top 3 Packers and Movers in Ghaziabad @ http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

List 5 Packers and Movers in Gurgaon @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/

List 5 Packers and Movers in Delhi @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/

List 5 Packers and Movers in Noida @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/

List 5 Packers and Movers in Ghaziabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/

List 5 Packers and Movers in Faridabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/

List 5 Packers and Movers in Ghaziabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/

List 5 Packers and Movers in India @ http://list5th.in/

Packers and Movers in India @ http://www.export5th.in/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

List 5th Packers and Movers in Bangalore @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/

List 5th Packers and Movers Hyderabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/

List 5th Packers and Movers Chennai @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai/

List 5th Packers and Movers Mumbai @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/

List 5th Packers and Movers Pune @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

I am trying to find information on why I need things in order and others are not minded by it as long as the information gets covered.