• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The development of object permanence in infancy.

Extracts from this document...


Dapo Adesina Psyc 220 The Development of Object Permanence in Infancy The study of developmental psychology plays a very significant role in understanding the physical and psychological changes encountered in humans, from conception until adulthood and even death. In infants, several characteristics abound, which are either innate or need to be learnt for the survival of the child as growth proceeds. Gradually, certain changes are observed in the infant as she improves upon her basic skills and conceptual development. These changes are particularly very rapid and involve several variations in behavioural patterns within very short periods. In order to understand the changes, several developmental psychologists have done some important research with a view to understanding the otherwise complicated stage of infancy in humans. Prominent in this study of the child and her development, is Jean Piaget, a Swiss developmental psychologist whose works have been a pivot around which other research into developmental psychology have revolved. Jean Piaget was renowned for his theory of cognitive development, which is grouped into four stages of sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. This paper however sets out to discuss a very important phenomenon in Piaget's sensorimotor stage of cognitive development, which is object permanence. ...read more.


Consequently, the infant at eight months of age commences the stage whereby, the co-ordination of actions is now possible. This stage lasts till she is twelve months old and involves a combination of several events aimed at co-ordination. Activities at this stage include grasping an object with one hand and trying to grasp another with the other hand. Prior to this stage, this action of co-ordination would have been impossible for the infant. The form which object permanence takes in this phase of the development is such that is possible for the infant to search for a completely hidden object and not a partially hidden one like the example with the secondary circular reactions stage. The infant, who had seen an object earlier on, has the ability to search for it when it has been completely hidden beyond view. This is not so with the secondary stage whereby there needs to be a clue, like, a part of the hidden object in order for it to be searched for. The problem at this stage can be referred to as the A Not-B error. Though she is able to search for a completely hidden object, the infant however has not developed the object concept fully and can only search where the object had been initially and no other place; even if she saw it moved to the new location. ...read more.


279-280). Consequently, object concept was proposed for these four-year-olds, quite different from Piaget's proposal. Piaget suggests that the first real notions of object permanence begin at about eight months, when the infant can go in search of an object, which is completely hidden, provided she had seen it before. Baillargeon however also observed that six-and -a half months old children would reach in the dark for an object which they had seen previously (Renee Baillargeon, 1987). This is also different from what Piaget suggests at that stage of development because, objects in the dark can be regarded as totally hidden, yet the child still reaches out to them. Developmental psychology has therefore come of age, with new discoveries, theories and concepts, making significant impacts. The contribution of Baillargeon on the concept of object permanence therefore remains quite significant, without any bias about the existing concept by Piaget. As far as the object concept is concerned, the ages attributed to the development of these developmental concepts such as object permanence remain a controversial issue. Piaget's work and consequent theory, though remain the bedrock of advancement in developmental psychology, significant contributions and discoveries such as Baillargeon's will continue to go a long way in improving existing knowledge of the child. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Child Development section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Child Development essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Child Development - Child Study

    4 star(s)

    The age of my study child. Physical Development Physical Development is about physical growth of the child. This includes height, weight, development of teeth and muscles. Also it is about how the child uses his muscles (Gross Motor Skills) and fingers (Fine Manipulative skills). A child's diet is also very important in the Physical Development process.

  2. Free essay

    Child Development

    RACE, CLASS AND GENDER Culturally, John and his family live in a culture mostly white and Scottish, however his extended family are of Italian origin and by talking to John's mother the issue of colour and religion is spoken about without confusion to which John understands.

  1. Child development - Study of a child

    I also was able to study the aspects of Alanya's development, which I wanted on the visit to the park. I observed her using gross motor skills at the park, which seemed to manage quite well and in which she fitted the theory I had discovered.

  2. Growth and development from conception to the final stages (PIES)

    When they become 12 months old, infants begin to imitate sounds made bt carers such as 'da-da'; this develops into the use of single words. At 2 years old infants usually begin to make two-word statements such as 'cat goed' (meaning the cat has gone away).

  1. Why family structures are changing.

    "Behavioural problems can affect the partner as well they are acting out or withdrawing. They will not know how to behave around certain people especially the abusive partner. They could become aggressive toward the child, this could be there way to get even or even use it as a means of justification for the punishment they have received.

  2. The aim of the curriculum plan is to demonstrate how a 10 month old ...

    E's intellectual development will also be promoted while he is carrying out this play experience because he will be concentrating whilst playing with the sensory cube. Beaver and Brewster state "Language Development: between 9 to 12 months, babbling begins to reflect the intonation of speech" (2001, pg151).

  1. Child development study - I will compare my visits and look at Aroushs development ...

    I saw that she had many colouring pencils and markers. She also had drawing pads and colouring books. Aroush has a box of play dough and a white board/ easel on which she likes drawing on. Other toys and activities that encourage creative play are: easel, stationary, Lego, paints, art sets, sand and water, Painting, drawing, printing, collage, making junk.

  2. Describe Human Development from Conception to birth

    Once fertilisation is done a normal and healthy pregnancy will have formed an embryo that exists after fertilisation plants itself into the wall of the uterus. The female?s uterus then starts too immediately to supply the embryo with blood. The blood is what allows the embryo to start dividing itself,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work