Skip to Content
Home > Health Information > Health Library > Egocentric and Magical Thinking
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.
Current as of: December 12, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope, MD, MPH - PediatricsKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Current as of:
December 12, 2018
Medical Review:John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
See important information from Billings Clinic on Non-discrimination and Interpreter Services.
Billings Clinic is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action (EOE/AA) e-verify employer.