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Piaget's theory of cognitive development

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Q. Discuss research into Piaget's theory of cognitive development. A study was conducted by Piaget (1967) to investigate at which age children have developed conservation. A laboratory experiment was used where Piaget took 2 containers, which consisted of liquid. One was taller and thinner and the other was wider but shorter. Both the containers contained the same volume of liquid. The children were then asked which container had more liquid filled in. The results found that the child ages 2-7 said it was the taller container that had more liquid and children ages 7 upwards said that both the containers had the same amount of liquid. The conclusion drawn is that the children aged from 2-7 were in the pre-operational stage and were unable to understand different aspects tat affected the volume of water, (e.g. the width of the containers). Whereas the children who were 11 years old onwards went through to the concrete operational stage to the formal operation stage therefore were able to consider all variables that affected the task. ...read more.


A laboratory experiment was used and the participants were a sample of children of 4-5 years of age. They were asked to see a show that involved a glove puppet called 'naughty teddy' that had 2 rows of sweets. One row of sweets were then spread out with bigger gaps between them, thus the children were asked again if the sweets still contained the same amount as the 1st row. The naughty puppet was used to spread out the 2nd row of sweets. This is because McGarrigle and Donaldson argued that a child learns from past experience. I.e. when the child is asked the same question twice then, from past experiences, they would have learnt that if an adult would ask the same question the 2nd time then they must have got the 1st answer wrong and therefore would not give the same answer again even if they thought it was right. ...read more.


He monitored the heart rates of the babies in both conditions. He found that the heart rate was higher in the condition where the toy had been removed. This was a criticism to Piaget's work as he had stated that young babies at that age would be ego centric. However this study had found that a child has object permanence from as young as a few months old. There have also been some other criticisms on Piaget's work. One of which is on the methodology that he used. Firstly there was only a little quantitative bit of data and Piaget had generalised his findings to a great population therefore criticisms were made on the reliability of his findings. It was again seen unreliable because, as he used a flexible interview method where the questions were not standardised, it would be difficult to replicate thus, would doubt reliability. In conclusion Piaget did find great new findings on stages of cognitive development however there were also quite a few criticisms on the certainty of his work. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jameela Patel Psychology ...read more.

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