Samuel & Bryant

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  • Samuel & Bryant
    • Aim
      • To test one question against Piaget's two-question method on a variety of conservation tasks, on several age groups.
    • Background
      • Piaget stages of development.
      • Rose & Blank
    • Procedure
      • Lab experiment & repeated measures. IV - age of child, task given or condition. DV - whether the child shows conservation(no. of errors made).
      • Mass - 2 equal balls of play-doh were shown, one squashed & children had to compare.
      • Volume - 2 equal glasses of water were shown to the child, one poured into a different shaped glass & children had to compare.
      • Number - 2 equal rows of counters were shown to the child, one stretched out & the children had to compare.
    • Participants
      • 252 children aged between 5 and 8.5 years from playgroups/schools in Devon.
      • Split into 4 groups, 63 in each group. (5yrs 3months, 6yrs 3 months, 7yrs 3 months and 8yrs 3 months.)
      • Each subgroup of 21 was given a different condition - children had 4 trials of each task.
    • Results
      • The younger children made more errors on all of the tasks.
      • The children all did better in the one question condition, and worst in the fixed array.
      • The children found it hardest to understand change in volume.
    • Conclusions
      • Young children can conserve earlier than Piaget suggested. But they do learn to conserve with age.
      • Conservation skills vary across tasks, Number before volume and mass.
    • Evaluation
      • It was a complex study as it had 3 IV's, development on Rose & Blank.
      • Large sample so is representative but could be ethnocentrically biased.
      • Quantitative data was collected - easy to analyse.
      • Children could've been distressed when waiting to be tested on. They also didn't give their consent.


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