I am reminded of a time when my cousin would come down from Pennsylvania to spend the summer with us. At the time, he was around six years old and always looked for some type of adventure. He would often want to play the video game the same time that I was playing. Since I was younger, I was really passionate about my video games and didn’t want anyone else to mess-up my progress. So I came up with the strategy of hooking up a second controller to the game console so that he may “play” as well. What he didn’t know was that the controller was defective and did not work. At the time, just saw that it was plugged in, and the next step was to have fun. I was able to get away with this strategy for the whole summer! I considered it a win-win situation: we were both able to play the video game and have fun.
The next summer, he came down to visit us again. And without surprise, we still had the same video game dilemma. I was still at the age of being selfish with my video games, so I tried my strategy with faulty controller again. For the first couple of days, everything went smoothly. After awhile, he began to realize that something was different about playing the game. One day while in the middle of playing the game, he completely stopped and put the controller down. As he looked at the television and saw that the game was still continuing as I tapped away on my controller. He realized that he was not controlling the game! I began to wonder what allowed him to see the difference in playing the game from the previous summer.
This answer was explained when I read Chapter 5. When he visited at the age of six, he was still in the preoperational stage. This meant that he had perceived the getting the controller meant that he could play automatically the game. The controller was associated with fun! When he came back at the age of seven, he had developed more cognitively and was now in the concrete operational stage. He was able to see that although he received a controller, that did not mean it worked. He had gained the ability of problem solving and checking things to see if they actually worked. This is what probably caused him to suddenly pause to check and see if it was actually working. I find it amazing how the mind works and how fast if constantly changes!