The Development and Validation of a Measure of Adult Egocentrism


Egocentrism in children is considered a typical element of cognitive development (Piaget & Inhelder, 1948). David Elkind ( 1967) suggested that a different type of egocentrism emerges in adolescence and subsides in adulthood, which he labeled Imaginary Audience and Personal Fable. We hypothesized that egocentrism in adulthood is more of a personality trait than a cognitive limitation. We agree with Piaget that with the onset of concrete operational thinking, people can decenter and see other points of view, but that in everyday interpersonal relationships, many people choose not to look beyond their own perspective. However, since we see this as a dispositional trait, we also believe that highly egocentric people are capable of recognizing their own egocentric tendencies and can be encouraged to change by placing a higher value on decentered thinking. We developed a measure of egocentrism that extends to adulthood and can be used to expand our understanding of the construct. We believe it will also help identify people who might benefit from an intervention aimed at decreasing egocentrism, and may be used as an outcome measure to judge intervention effectiveness. The final version was handed out to undergraduate psychology students, along with other measures of constructs related to egocentrism. The purpose of this battery of measures was to better understand the relationship of egocentrism as we define it, to the other related notions of this construct. We ran psychometric analyses on the measures including internal consistency reliability and factor analysis, as well as convergent and divergent validity analyses. Egocentrism in children and adolescents is considered a typical element of cognitive development. On the other hand, egocentrism in adulthood is probably more of a personality trait that, with the right understandings and interventions, may be controlled and even decreased.


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Thesis Completion





Berman, Steven L.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program



Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences; Egoism







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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