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During this stage, the pattern of circular reactions acquired in the previous stage progresses further which leads to the engagement of objects from the external environment as well (Watts and Cockcroft 329). This is the stage where an infant’s cognitive awareness regarding external entities is first awakened (Rathus 177).As the secondary schemas become coordinated at this stage, the child begins to engage in intentional behavior to achieve a goal (Rathus 177). Therefore, as an outcome of this practice, a child’s ability to solve problems is advanced (Watts and Cockcroft 329).As the child transitions to this sub-stage, the critical developments of symbolic representation and object permanence are finally realized (Watts and Cockcroft 331). Therefore, much of the activities undertaken by the child during this stage are based on symbolic representations, object permanence and cognitive maps where the concept of objects, pictures, events, numbers and words is linked together to assist an infant’s progression to operational thought.
In this sub-stage of Piaget’s preoperational stage, children make use of language as a symbol to obtain meanings and make sense of happenings (Fraser and Gestwicki 24). Despite of the attainment of this ability, a child’s scope of understanding at this stage is still limited and is based on semi-logical reasoning. At the commencement of this sub-stage, intuitive processes become more significant and play a pivotal role in enhancing a child’s problem solving skills (Fraser and Gestwicki 24). The semi-logical reasoning practiced during the sub-stage of preconceptual thinking becomes more logical at this stage but is still dominated by the child’s own perceptions. Consequently, grasp of general concepts becomes more strong.