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Object Permanence - Was Piaget's theories accurate?

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Object Permanence: Was Piaget's theories accurate? Sophia Jetpuri October 15, 2003 Psych 3363- Cog Dev Mon-Wed 11-12:15 Introduction Jean Piaget's theory of human cognitive development involves a succession of stages through which children progress from birth to adolescence. As humans move from one stage to another, the way they understand the world alters as well, mental representation stages including: reflexes, primary circular reactions, secondary circular reactions, coordination of secondary schemas, tertiary circular reactions, and mental representation insight. One vital component applying to each of these sub-stages of the sensorimotor development period is the concept of object permanence. Object permanence, the realization that objects and people exist even when they cant be seen, must be conquered before a person can progress into the next period. This basic concept comes into play for the purpose of this study, in effort to determine the stage of development of a infant chosen at random, and if the stage correlates properly with the theoretical perspective of Piaget. Methods Sameer, an 18 month old male infant, was the key participant in the experiment. ...read more.


Results While conducting the experiment, I noticed that Sameer found the object I hid every time. I waited about five minutes in between each trial, and let Sameer play with object in his room other than those that I had added. The infant surpassed in each trial; even when I threw the toy off the bed, he attempted to find it. Throughout the majority of the experiment, Sameer was interested, but it became clear that he was getting bored around the third trial. At that time, he even kept the toy car from me, because he knew I would take it away and hide it again. At that time, I switched the object and began to use a tiger, which he referred to as "doggie." At the end of the three trials, I was about to leave the room, and Sameer dragged me back in his room. I thought he wanted the toys back, but in actuality, he began testing me, getting frustrated every time I refused to find the object. I finally understood what he was doing, and allowed him to test me. ...read more.


Other factors that could have accounted to the differences between the results of this study and that of Piaget's discoveries include experimenter errors and the child's enthusiasm to play with new toys. Supplemental Introduction Stage Approximate Age Level of Schemes Object Knowledge Motor Development I 0-1 reflexes none II 1-4 primary circular reactions spontaneous movements repeated for the sake of bodily satisfaction e.g., thumb-sucking objects are images linked to the infant's actions holding head up, smiling lIII 4-8 secondary circular reactions making interesting sights last beginnings of intentional activity search for partially hidden objects sitting up IV 8-12 coordination of schemes putting together schemes used separately in the past e.g., coordination of cover removal and grasping goal-oriented search for fully hidden objects A-not-B error crawling V 12-18 tertiary circular reactions inventing new means cannot take account of invisible displacements walking brings about detour problems VI 18-24 mental representation insight full object permanence Supplemental Methods Section Tested in A, checked to see if he could retrieve Tested in A, then switched to B, checked to see if he could retrieve Tested in A, then switched to B without child's knowledge, checked again Repeated with different toy, did three trials total Supplemental Results Section 2 Sophia Jetpuri October 15, 2003 ...read more.

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