Samuel and Bryant's Study

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To test whether altering the method used by Piaget would increase the validity of the study.


  • 252 children from Devon, UK
  • Aged between 5 and 8.5 years old


There were 3 conditions:

  • Standard -   This is the traditional two question conservation task as carried out by Piaget. The child is asked about the size of the object before and after the shape was changed.
  • One question - This is a conservation task like the original but this time with only one question asked, the post transformation question. The child is only asked about the size of the object and this is after the transformation has taken place.
  • Fixed array control question - In this condition, the child saw no transformation being made and only saw the post-transformation display. That is, the child just saw the objects after they'd been changed and not before. The purpose of this third condition was to check that children who answered the post-transformation question correctly in the other 2…


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