What is adolescence? Explain the concept of egocentrism.

Adolescenceis commonly defined as the stage of life that begins at the onset of puberty, when sexual maturity or the ability to reproduce is attained. It is a transitional period in a person’s life between childhood and adulthood. It is marked by rapid biological and psychological change in the individual. It starts at approximately 11 to 12 years of age and ends at 18 to 20 years of age.

The concept of egocentrism deals with self focus. It is a viewpoint of the world that is centred upon the self. It hinders an appreciation of the viewpoint of others. This kind of an attitude develops within a child from his/her childhood stage. However, it differs during adolescence. The egocentrism in adolescents comprises the following two elements:

  • Imaginary audience It is the adolescent’s belief that others are as preoccupied about them as they are about themselves. They think that people are always noticing them and observing their behaviour, hence, it leads to self-consciousness.

  • Personal fable The adolescents’ sense of uniqueness makes them feel that no one understands them or their feelings.

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