Samuel and Bryant

Name & desrcibe Piaget's 4 Developmental stages (Background)
1. Sensorimotor Stage, 0-18m, senses & movements. 2. Preoperational stage, 18m-7yrs, language & expression. 3. Concrete operational stage, 7-11yrs, more sophisticated mental operations. 4. Formal operational stage, 11yrs+, formal logic.
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What year was this study conducted?
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What was the aim?
To test whether the methodology used in Piaget's experiment was the reason why children under 8 years old made errors, rather than a true lack of the ability to conserve.
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What were the IV and DV of S&B's experiment
!V = 3 conditions, 4 age groups, 3 materials DV= number of errors made by the children recorded by the researchers.
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252 boys and girls aged 5-8.5yrs, from schools and playgroups in/around Crediton, Devon. They used an opportunity sample.
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Design, method and data collected
Design = Independent measures Method = experiment Data = Quantitative
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Outline the 3 conditions
1. Standard: Piaget's method-children asked question before and after transformation. 2. One Judgement: Only asked one question, after transformation. 3. Fixed Array Control: Child saw no transformation, only end product, asked question once.
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how were the sample split?
252 children split into 4 age groups of 63 with mean ages of: 5yrs 3mnths, 6yrs 3 mnths, 7yrs 3mnths, 8yrs 3 mnths. These age groups were then split into 3 subgroups of 21 which underwent the 3 different conditions.
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outline the material tasks
Mass - 2 identical Playdoh cylinders, one squashed into sausage-shape. Number - 2 rows of 6 counters next to each other, 1:1 ratio, one squashed into clump. Volume - 2 identical glasses of water, one glass tipped into taller glass.
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outline the findings
Piaget correct in saying that conservation increases with age. Significant difference between age groups, older people doing consistently better than younger. One judgement task=easiest, for all materials. Number task=easiest (then mass,then volume).
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Ethical issues?
Hard to get consent from children, so cannot decide not to participate. Children were not properly debriefed so younger ones may not understand explantation. Children unlikely to know or use their right to withdraw.
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Strengths of study
1. High control over extraneous variables, e.g. number of times children tested, varying order. 2. Wide sample of children tested, equal ratio of gender. 3. High EV as carried out in their schools. 4. Applicable to schools, what to teach children.
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Weaknesses of study
1. S&B strangers to children, so they may have been nervous, resulting in spontaneous, rather than thought out, answers. 2. IM design=individual differences between conditions. 3. Ethnocentric, all from Devon. 4. Only tested 5-8.5yr olds.
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Define: Horizontal Decalage
Acquiring part of a skill before mastering all of it. For example, in conservation, mastering number before mass and volume.
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Define: Conservation:
The child understands that changing the form of an object or substance does not change the amount, overall volume or mass. This accomplishement occurs in the operational stage of development, between 7 and 11.
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What did Piaget think:
Children are unable to conserve, unable to reverse mental operations, egocentric (only see their own view) and that they rely on intuition.
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What did S&B think about Piaget's experiment.
S&B thought Piaget's methodology was flawed. They argued that the reason children gave the wrong answer on the second question was because asking them the same question again made them believe they answered wrong the first time, so changed it.
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Demand Characteristics
A cue that makes participants aware of what the experimenter expects to find or how participants are expected to behave.
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How many times did one child take part in the experiment?
Child given 4 trails in each kind of material, so 12 times overall.
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What year was this study conducted?



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What was the aim?


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What were the IV and DV of S&B's experiment


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