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Lecture 7

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University of Waterloo
Mattieu Lecorre

Lecture 7 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 sensorimotor stage The “goals” of development - Distinguish appearances from reality - Displacement/symbols: o Our actions and thoughts are not determined by physical effects of objects on our senses - 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 feature 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 of liquid - 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 operational 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
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