Experiment Reveiw of Piaget's Conservation Tasks

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Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, made substantial findings in intellectual development. His Cognitive Theory influenced both the fields of education and psychology. Piaget identified four major periods of cognitive development: the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operations stage, and the stage of formal operations. The preoperational stage includes children two to four years of age and is characterized by the development and refinement of schemes for symbolic representation. During the preoperational stage lies, what Piaget coined, the intuitive period. This phase occurs during the ages of 4-7 and during this time, the child’s thinking is largely centered on the way things appear to be rather than on logical or rational processes. The most prominent example of children’s reasoning comes from Piaget’s conservation task studies. The principle of conservation refers to the understanding that certain properties of objects are invariant even after physical changes to the object. I replicated his conversations task on a four and a half year old boy named Daniel. I had Daniel sit down in a chair across the table from me. I told him I was going to ask him a few questions and he had to tell me the answer he thought. For the first conversation I had two equal glasses of water sitting in front of him. I asked him if he thought the glasses of water were equal or if they were different sizes. His told me they were both equal is size. Then right in front of him I poured one glass of water in a taller and narrower glass. I asked him if the glasses were different sizes or if they were equal. He responded by pointing at the taller and narrower glass claiming it had more water in it. The second conversation consisted of two equal lines of checkers. I asked him if the lines were equal or if one line was longer than the other. He replied yes that he thought they were equal. Next I increased the spacing of the second line of checkers...
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