Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

as an integral part of Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development, this type of thinking is most often seen in children who are in the preoperational stage. It is characterized by the child's belief that inanimate objects, for example, dolls, possess desires, beliefs, and feelings in a similar way that the child does. See also precausal thinking.

ANIMISTIC THINKING: "The child showed animistic thinking when he or she told her parents that her stuffed toy intended to go to college."

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