Representation of Objective Situations in Preschool Children



The paper focuses on the types of representations of objective situations, that is, situations which are defined independently of the subject, by certain external perceptible circumstances and social expectations or rules. The author distinguishes between three types of objective situations in which children act: normative, developing and ambiguous. For each of these types there is a corresponding form of representation: sign, dialectical and symbolic. Each form is a product of the subject's cognitive activity, at the core of which lie cognitive abilities — a system of culturally specific means and ways of using them. The paper outlines normative and stabilizing abilities, transformation abilities, and symbolic mediation abilities. They help categorize different objects and features, enable transformation of situations and provide possibilities for orientation in ambiguous situations.

General Information

Keywords: objective situations, representation, child, culture, norm

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Veraksa N.E. Representation of Objective Situations in Preschool Children . Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2015. Vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 110–119. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2015110310. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1.  Anastazi A. Psikhologicheskoe testirovanie: Kniga 1 [Psychological testing. Volume 1]. Moscow: Pedagogika, 1982. 320 p. (In Russ.)
  2.  Venger L.A. Razvitie poznavatel'nykh sposobnostei v protsesse doshkol'nogo vozrasta [Development of cognitive capacities in the process of preschool age]. Moscow: Pedagogi­ka, 1986. 224 p.
  3.  Veraksa A.N. Simvolicheskoe oposredstvovanie v pozna­vatel'noi deyatel'nosti: Monografiya. [Symbolic mediation in cognitive activity: Monography]. Moscow: MGU, 2010. 168 p.
  4.  Veraksa A.N. Formy znakovoi i simvolicheskoi reprezen­tatsii v poznavatel'noi deyatel'nosti mladshikh shkol'nikov [Sign forms and symbolic representation in the cognitive activity of junior schoolboys] Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikho­logiya [Cultural-Historical Psychology], 2009, no. 1, pp. 103— 111. (In Russ., abstr. In Engl.)
  5.  Veraksa N.E. Dialekticheskoe myshlenie [Dialectical thinking]. Ufa: Vagant, 2006. 212p.
  6.  Veraksa N.E. Metodologicheskie osnovy psikhologii [Methodological foundations of psychology]. Moscow: Izdatel'­skii tsentr "Akademiya", 2013. 240 p.
  7.  Veraksa N.E., Diachenko O.M. Sposoby regulyatsii povedeniya u detei doshkol'nogo vozrasta [Ways of regulation of the behaviour of preschool children]. Voprosy psikhologii [Questions of psychology], 1996, no. 3, pp. 14—27
  8.  Veraksa N.E. Osobennosti preobrazovaniya proti­vorechivykh problemnykh situatsii doshkol'nikami [Features of conversion controversial problem situations by preschool­ers]. Voprosy psikhologii [Questions of psychology], 1981, no. 3, pp. 123—127.
  9.  Vygotskii L.S. Voobrazhenie i tvorchestvo v detskom vozraste [Imagination and creativity in preschool age]. Moscow: Prosveshchenie, 1967. 93 p.
  10.  Gal'perin P.Ya. Vvedenie v psikhologiyu. [Introduction to psychology]. Moscow: Izdatel'stvo Moskovskogo universite­ta, 1976. 479 p.
  11.  Mid Dzhordzh Gerbert. Izbrannoe. [Mead Georger Gerbert: Moscow: INION RAN, 2009. 290 p. (In Russ.)
  12.  Il'enkov E.V. Problema ideal'nogo [Problem of ideal]. Voprosy filosofii [Question of philosophy], 1979, no. 6, pp. 128—140.
  13.  Dzh. (eds.) Issledovanie razvitiya poznavatel'noi dey­atel'nosti [Study of the cognitive activity development]. Moscow: Pedagogika, 1971. 392p. (In Russ.)
  14.  Piaget J. Izbrannye psikhologicheskie trudy [Collected psychological works]. Moscow: Prosveshchenie, 1969. 659 p. (In Russ.)
  15.  Podd'yakov N.N. Myshlenie doshkol'nika [Thinking of preschooler]. Moscow: Pedagogika, 1977. 277 p.
  16.  Matyushkin A.M. (ed.) Psikhologiya myshleniya. [Psychology of thinking]. Moscow: Progress, 1965. 533 p.
  17.  Subbotskii E.V. Vospriyatie doshkol'nikami neobych­nykh yavlenii [Perception of unusual phenomena by preschoolers]. Vestnik Mosk. un-ta. Ser. 14. Psikhologiya [Bul­letin of Moscow University. Series 14. Psychology], 1984, no. 1, pp. 17—31
  18. Veraksa N.Ye. Representation of Objective Situations in Preschool Children. Кul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-historical psychology, 2015. Vol. 11, no. 3, pp.100—119. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.). doi: 10.17759/chp.2015110310
  19.  Subbotskii E.V. Stroyashcheesya soznanie [Shaping consciousness]. Moscow: Smysl, 2007. 424 p.
  20.  Teplov B. M. Izbrannye trudy: V 2-kh t. T. 1. [Collected works: in 2 volumes. V. 1]. Moscow: Pedagogika, 1985. 328 p.
  21. Freud S. Psikhopatologiya obydennoi zhizni [Psychopathology of common life]. Moscow: AST, 2010. 256 p. (In Russ.)
  22.  Gal'perin P.Ya. (eds.) Khrestomatiya po istorii psikhologii. Period otkrytogo krizisa [Collected works on his­tory of psychology. Period of open crisis]. Moscow: Publ. Moskovskogo universiteta, 1980. 364 p. (In Russ.)
  23.  Shibutani T. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya. [Social psy­chology]. Rostov on Don: Feniks, 1998. 539 p.
  24.  E.Thorndayk, John B.Watson. Osnovnye napravleniya psikhologii v klassicheskikh trudakh. Bikheviorizm. [Main trend of psychology in classical works. Bihaviorism]. Moscow: AST-LTD, 1998. 704 p. (In Russ.)
  25.  Apperly I., Williams E., Williams J.Three- to Four­Year-Old's Recognition That Symbols Have a Stable Meaning: Pictures Are Understood Before Written Words. Child Development, 2004, no. 5, pp. 1510—1522.
  26.  Bialystok E., Senman L. Executive processes in appear­ance-reality tasks: the role of inhibition of attention and sym­bolic representation. Child Development, 2004, no. 75, pp. 167—178.
  27.  DeLoache J.S. Symbolic development. In Goswami U. (ed.). Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Develop­ment. Blackwell, 2002, pp. 206—226.
  28.  Pascual-Leone J. Organisimal Processes from Neo-Piagetian Theories: A Dialectical Causal Account of Cognitive Development. International Journal of Psychology, 1987, no. 22, pp. 531—570.
  29.  Phelps, K.E., Woolley, J.D. The Form and Function of Young Children's Magical Beliefs. Developmental Psychology, 1994, no. 3, pp. 385—394.
  30.  Piaget J. Las formas elementales de la dialectica. Barselona, —1982. 216 p.
  31.  Piaget J. Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. 1962.
  32.  Subbotsky, E.V. Early rationality and magical thinking in preschoolers: space and time. British Journal of Develop­mental Psychology, 1994, no. 12, pp. 97—108.
  33.  Veraksa N. Modern trends in early childhood educa­tion development in the natural vs cultural paradigm. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 2014, no. 5, pp. 585—589.

Information About the Authors

Nikolai E. Veraksa, Doctor of Psychology, professor, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogical Sciences, Lomonosov Moscow State University, leading researcher Institute of Childhood Family and Childrearing, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 2239
Previous month: 21
Current month: 9


Total: 1318
Previous month: 5
Current month: 7