How object permanence fits in sensorimotor stage
- Sensorimotor progression:
o From body-centred here and now of immediate sensation, to more “objective”
perspective that is removed from here and now
- When babies acquire object permanence:
o Do not only direct action & thoughts towards here and now, but also to entities that are
separate from their own actions and sensations
- Therefore, changes in babies’ responses to hide and seek game fits perfectly within
The “goals” of development
- Distinguish appearances from reality
o Our actions and thoughts are not determined by physical effects of objects on our
- Flexibility: can mentally go back and forth between actual world and past or future world
How do babies fare at end of sensorimotor stage?
- Distinguish appearances from reality?
o To some extent: have object permanence
o But will become more powerful at concrete operational stage
- Have symbols that are detached from immediate stimulation?
o To some extent : first words, pretend play, deferred imitations
o But will become more powerful when acquire logic
- Piaget thinks that these are only the seeds of symbolic thinking
- Can mentally go back and forth between actual world and past or future world?
o No! (or very limited)
o Don’t really have this until reach concrete operational stage at age 7!
Thinking becomes more flexible, anytime before thinking is really static
What is immediately around
Babies at the end of the sensorimotor stage: summary
- Have little bits of core features of adult human thought but still have long way to go on each
From preoperational to concrete operational
- Preoperational (2 to 7 years)
o “pivot stage” between sensorimotor and concrete operational o Lingering features of sensorimotor stage
Althoug have object permanence & some symbols, thinking is still quite stuck in
here and now
- Concrete operational (7 to 11 years)
o Transition involves equilibration: acquire new schema called “operations”
o Central feature: thought becomes decentred and reversible
Explosion of mental flexibility
- At age 7, new schemas appear (concrete operation)
Conservation: a test of decentration and reversibility
- Conservation of matter/liquid
o Under age 7 will still think that pouring liquid into a taller glass makes the taller glass
contain more liquid
Judgement changes very often
This occurs because a child does not have reversibility
o Reversibility is thought to be like forwarding and going back on a video tape, so if they
can do that, then they will be able to see that the two glasses contain the same amount
- Conversation of number
o More or less dots on two lines, spread of the dots on the line
o They think that the spread dots has more dots
- These two conversations do not actually occur at the same time for the baby
- Preoperational (2 to 7 years):
o CENTRES on single salient dimension (eg. Height) at expense of others
o Cannot REVERSE transformation
- Concrete operational (starting around 7 years):
o Can DECENTRE and notice how change in one dimension(eg. Height) compensated by
change in other (eg. Width)
o Can REVERSE transformation and imagine initial state even if not perceptible
- Child can only perceive one dimension at one time, cannot bring two concepts together
o Eg. Conservation of number: decrease in density or increase in length?
o Once they can link the two dimensions, they are very close to being concrete
o One change compensates change of another
The “goals” of development
- How do children fare at concrete operational stage?
o Distinguish appearance from reality?
Yes: concrete operations allow them to decentre (integrate multiple dimensions)
and reverse (go back and forth between past and present)
o Have symbols that are det