Development key studies


McGarrigle & Donaldson - conservation/naughty tedd

A: to see if a deliberate change in the row of counters would help younger kids conserve

M: children aged 4-6 - 2 rows of counters, teddy messed up 1 row - child asked if rows were same

R: deliberate change - 41% conserved, accidental change - 68% conserved. older children did better than younger ones

C: piaget's method doesn't show what children can do & this study shows there are still age related changes

E: primary school sample from 1 school - comparisons between groups may not be valid. children may appear to conserve because they didnt notice the change as they were distracted by teddy. study shows that piaget confused young children with his style of questioning - helps refine his theory

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Hughes - egocentrism/policeman doll study

A: to create a test that made more sense than piaget's

M: 3.5-5 year olds asked to hide a boy doll from 2 policemen, given practice first with 1 doll

R: 90% could hide the doll away from 2 policemen, 3 year olds did less well with a more complex task

C: children aged 4 are mostly not egocentric, piaget underestimated abilities but was right that thinking changes with age

E: task made better sense to children, were given practice - more realistic test of abilities. unconcious cues from researcher may have influenced behvaiour - results lack validity. study shows how piaget's task confused children making them appear as less able thinkers - helps to refine his theory 

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