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Lecture 6

PSYB20 - Lecture 6.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Mark Schmuckler

PSYB20 – Lecture 6 Prof’s Speech - Purple Slide 2 – New Research on Sensorimotor Stages - Object Permanence - Piaget engaged in tasks that were extremely difficult for the child - If other measures were used, maybe we would be able to see things in the child that Piaget couldn’t - Baillargeon, Spelke, & Wasserman (1985) o Infants might be able to show object permanence earlier than Piaget said o Experiment – habituated child to a display with a rotating screen (180 degrees) o Rotation of the screen was violating physical properties – property of solidity – solid things can’t go through each other o Child showed more dishabituation when the screen rotated through the box o (5 month old) Child’s response to the object behind the screen (the fact that they notice it) suggests object permanence o If children have no object permanence, the child should have no expectations in terms of what will come out from behind the screen Slide 3 – The A-not-B Error - A trials – toy hidden under cup A in front of infant, infant searches cup A - B trials – toy hidden under cup B in front of infant, infant searches cup B Slide 4 - The A-not-B Error - Bjork & Cummings (1974) - Spatial orientation versus memory deficit o It may be that infant memory is just no good; memory for location is bad o With 5 locations, when the location of the object is changed, the child searches near the B location until he/she actually reaches B o This suggests that Piaget underestimated children’s abilities Slide 5 – Immediate and Deferred Imitation - Meltzoff & Moore (1994) o 6 week old infants were shown different facial displays, and the child imitated the displayed faces o Perhaps the children only failed Piaget’s tests because of the lack of motor skills that were required for Piaget’s tasks o Studies have suggested that infants are able to imitate in a rational fashion – they are able to understand how it works o If a child sees a parent do a behaviour for fun, the child will interpret the behaviour as fun o Experiment – hit the button with hands tied  Adult uses head to hit the button, the child understands that the adult is using their head because their hands are tied, the child will use hands to hit the button  When the adult’s hands are untied, the infant will use head to hit the button for fun Slide 6 – New Research on Preoperational Thought - Tasks Piaget used were complex and used unfamiliar stimuli - John Flavell o Piaget wasn’t known in North America until around the 1970s when Flavell brought his work over o Flavell argued that children could display much more sophisticated skills if tasks were simplified - Egocentrism o John Flavell  3 year olds were shown a card with a dog on one side and a cat on the other  When the card is held up, the child sees the dog, and the other person sees a cat, the child knows this and is therefore not egocentric  The child understands that the other person has a different viewpoint o Lemperers et al.  Parent and child experiment – picture is faced towards the child and the child is told to show the picture to their parent  The child turns the picture around so that the parent can see – therefore, the child knows that the parent had a different viewpoint - Animism o Dolgin & Behrend  Asked child about familiar objects, range of familiar objects  The child is more likely to give the unfamiliar object life-like characteristics - Conservation o Dolgin & Behrend  Try to train children in tasks
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