Samuel and Bryant (4)
IV3: Three different types of materials were used for the conservation tasks.
(a). Mass: Children in condition 1&2 were shown two equal and identical play doh cylinder shapes. The transformation was to squash one of these into shapes of sausages. After this, the children were asked to compare the cylinder and the sausage. The children in condition 3 also made this comparison without seeing the first display or the transformation. (b). Number: Children in condition 1&2 were shown 2 rows of equal counters. The rows contained 6 counters. Then one row was spread out or bunched up. The condition 3 children saw only the post-transformation displays. (c) Volume: Children in conditions 1&2 were first shown the identical glasses with same amounts of liquid. Then liquid from one glass was poured into a narrower/or a shallow wider one. Condition 3 children only saw the post-transformation displays. The DV was the number of errors made by the children on the tasks. The order of the tests were counterbalanced.
Results: 1. As predicted by S&B, children found the one judgement task significantly easier (i.e. made less errors) than the standard conservation and the fixed-array control. This was true for all 3 types of materials. 2. There was a significant difference between the age groups, with older groups doing consistently better than the younger. 3. The children made fewer errors on the number task compared with the other two tasks (mass and volume). There are aspects where the study doesn't support Piaget's theory especially in the one-judgement task. Although it does support the theory as the 8 year old children identified the tasks better which showed as children moved through the stages they're cognitive development was expanding.