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A / AS Psychology - Key Studies. The Topic - Cognitive development The authors Samuel J & Bryant P (1984). Samuel J & Bryant P (1984). Can young children CONSERVE or does asking the same question twice cause them to fail?. Jean PIAGET and his theory.

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a as psychology key studies
A / AS Psychology - Key Studies
  • The Topic - Cognitive development
  • The authors
  • Samuel J & Bryant P (1984)
samuel j bryant p 1984

Samuel J & Bryant P (1984)

Can young children CONSERVE or does asking the same question twice cause them to fail?

jean piaget and his theory

Jean PIAGET and his theory

Children’s thought processes are QUALITATIVELY different to adult thought processes

jean piaget
Jean PIAGET
  • Piaget is the most famous writer on children’s cognitive development
  • Piaget was a SWISS zoologist who studied his own children and their friends
jean piaget and his theory5
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Piaget proposed a maturational theory of cognitive development
  • NATURE not NURTURE
jean piaget and his theory6
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • cognitive development:
  • the transformation of initial inborn schema by the twin processes of
  • Assimilation = practise
  • Accommodation = modification
jean piaget and his theory7
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • cognitive development takes place through FOUR fixed age related stages
jean piaget and his theory8
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 1- the sensorimotor stage
  • birth to 2 years
  • child learns from interaction with environment
  • only at about 6 months does OBJECT permanence occur
jean piaget and his theory9
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • 2 to 7 years
  • Child is egocentric - unable to understand the world from another’s perspective
  • Child unable to CONSERVE
jean piaget and his theory10
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • What does CONSERVE mean?
  • Children can CONSERVE when they understand that quantity does not change when appearance changes
jean piaget and his theory11
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • classical conservation test stage 1

RRRRRRR

RRRRRRR

are there the same number of counters in each row?

jean piaget and his theory12
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • classical conservation test stage 2

RRRRRR

R R R R R R

are there the same number of counters in each row?

jean piaget and his theory13
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • conservation test

RRRRRR

R R R R R R

the child who says NO cannot conserve number

jean piaget and his theory14
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • another conservation test
  • 2 rolls of plasticine - is there the same amount in each?
jean piaget and his theory15
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • roll one out while child watches
jean piaget and his theory16
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • still the same amount in each? the child who says NO is unable to conserve MASS
jean piaget and his theory17
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • Another conservation test
  • 2 containers of liquid - same amount in A as in B?

A

BBB

jean piaget and his theory18
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • Watch while pour B into C
  • Same amount in A as in C?

A

B

C

jean piaget and his theory19
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 2 - pre-operational stage
  • same amount in A as in C?
  • the child who says NO unable to conserve VOLUME

A

B

C

jean piaget and his theory20
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • According to Piaget - in all these cases the child can only take into consideration ONE aspect of the physical world at a time (what it looks like)
  • THUS if it LOOKS different it MUST BE different!
jean piaget and his theory21
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 3 -
  • CONCRETE operational stage
  • 7 - approx 11 years
  • child now able to conserve and can perform quite complex operations
  • but only if ‘real’ objects are ‘at hand’
jean piaget and his theory22
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • the child cannot perform mental operations (transformations)
  • If Bill is taller than Jim and shorter than John who is the tallest?
  • Without real figures to manipulate the child cannot answer
jean piaget and his theory23
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • If Bill is taller than Jim and shorter than John who is the tallest?
  • BILL JIM JOHN
jean piaget and his theory24
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Stage 4
  • Aged 11+ ‘Formal Operations’
  • this is where the 11+ came from!
  • The child can now perform logical operations and abstract reasoning
  • According to Piaget not all achieve the stage of FORMAL OPERATIONS
jean piaget and his theory25
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • Samuel & Bryantcriticised PIAGET
  • they believed that children could conserve at an earlier age than Piaget maintained.
  • they thought the children answered the way they did because of the way the experiment was carried out
jean piaget and his theory26
Jean PIAGET and his theory
  • IN SUM
  • Samuel & Bryantcriticised PIAGET
  • they thought that the experimental method and the repeated questions generated
  • DEMAND CHARACTERISTICS
standard conservation test
standard conservation test
  • Question 1 Are there the same number of counters in row A & B?

ARRRRRR

BRRRRRR

child answers YES

standard conservation test stage 2
standard conservation test stage 2
  • Child watches the transformation

ARRRRRR

BR R R R RR

standard conservation test stage 3
standard conservation test stage 3
  • Question 2 Are there the same number of counters in row A & B?

ARRRRRR

BR R R R RR

child answers NO

failing to conserve

samuel bryant 1984
Samuel & Bryant (1984)

Set up an experiment to try to demonstrate that

asking the same question twice caused children to make errors in the standard conservation test

samuel bryant 198431
Samuel & Bryant (1984)
  • The participants - 252 boys & girls
  • aged 5 to 8.5 years
  • four groups of 63
  • mean ages 5 yrs 3 mths

6 yrs 3 mths

7 yrs 3 mths

8 yrs 3 mths

samuel bryant 198432
Samuel & Bryant (1984)
  • Here we have a naturalistic IV - age
  • then groups divided into 3 sub groups (21 in each sub group)
  • (1) Standard Group
  • Traditional conservation task
  • asked two questions
samuel bryant 198433
Samuel & Bryant (1984)
  • (2) One Judgement Group
  • Only one question asked
  • AFTER the transformation
  • (3) Fixed Array
  • Saw only ONE display - the post transformation one
samuel bryant 198434
Samuel & Bryant (1984)
  • Procedure

each child given 12 separate trials

2 equal 2 unequal mass (plasticine

2 equal 2 unequal number (counters

2 equal 2 unequal volume (liquid

samuel bryant 198435
Samuel & Bryant (1984)

In this experiment

  • What are the IVs
  • What is the DV
  • How did S & B measure the ability to conserve (operationalise the DV)
  • Why did S & B include an unequal condition in the pre transformation
samuel bryant 198436
Samuel & Bryant (1984)

mean errors for each group

age standard 1 question fixed array

5 8 7 9

6 6 4 6

7 3 3 5

8 2 1 3

samuel bryant 198437
Samuel & Bryant (1984)

mean errors for each group

standard 1 question fixed array

Mass 2 1 2

Number 1 1 2

Volume 2 2 3

samuel bryant 198438
Samuel & Bryant (1984)

age standard 1 question fixed array

5 8 7 9

6 6 4 6

7 3 3 5

8 2 1 3

  • How did performance differ by age ?
  • How did performance differ between experimental groups ?
  • Do these results support Piaget?
samuel bryant 198439
Samuel & Bryant (1984)

Methodology ?

naturalistic experiment (IV = age)

cross sectional

experimental (IV = condition)

repeated measures and independent groups

Ecological validity ?

Participant bias - was there any?

Ethical concerns - are there any ?

samuel bryant 198440
Samuel & Bryant (1984)

Children’s ability to conserve

Situation vs dispositional attribution

What do you think?