Generalized others and imaginary audiences: A neo-Meadian approach to adolescent egocentrism

Publication year: 2011
Source: New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 29, Issue 3, December 2011, Pages 364-375

Jack, Martin , Bryan, Sokol

Piaget’s conception of adolescent egocentrism, as interpreted and extended by Elkind (1967) is discussed, and research that has related Elkind’s egocentric ideations of personal fable and imaginary audience to age and intellectual development is considered. Alternative theories of adolescent egocentrism and its decentration are examined, and a neo-Meadian framework is discussed that understands the imaginary audience ideation of adolescents as a possibly functional, highly variable response to the complex task of coordinating individual and social perspectives as part of the adolescent’s search for identity.