Lecture 6: Monday, February-25-13
Outline Last Time
- Object concept: Piaget…criticisms, competence/performance distinction, VOE method
(experiments revealing early competence), explaining A-not-B error (memory, inhibitory control,
- Intuitive physics: solidity principle, continuity principle, contact principle
- Event categories: support events—variables, contact/no contact, type of contact, amount of
Object Knowledge Intuitive Physics
o Individuation (OTS)
physical principles (PRS)
o Identification (ORS)
Event categories (PRS)
- You constantly see objects interacting with each other. For example, you see a water bottle
sitting on a table and expect it to be supported and not pass through the table. The kinds of
variables related to this concept are picked up over the first few years.
- Category specific variables
VARIABLE Contact/no contact Type of Contact Amount of Contact
AGE > 3 months > 5 months > 6 ½ months
RESULT Babies under three Babies under 5 Babies that are 6 ½
months old don’t months don’t months or older are
have this, they do as understand that type more surprised by
they get older of contact matters inadequate contact
(looking time for no (looking time for (longer looking times
contact is greater short platform is vs. for adequate
than for contact) longer) object times)
- Babies slightly older than 3 months were not surprised when the object was pushed of the table.
They concluded that the baby must be thinking that the finger (which pushed the box off the
table) was actually attached to the object. When they pushed the object off the table and then
removed the finger, they were surprised.
- See page 25 in textbook
- Piaget underestimated the knowledge babies have about numbers.
- Things: rocks, tables, chairs.
- Things that are about other things: photos, map, story, number (symbolic), language/words,
- Show a screen with a set of dots on each side of the screen, and you had to guess which side
had more. You don’t have time to count the dots. How are you able to accurately to know which side has more? You might be using the surface area (how much empty space on each side), but
when you control for this variable you get the same results. Density is not the reason either.
There is the idea that there is a number system in your head. You are able to approximate the
number of dots on the screen.
Approximate Number System (ANS)
o imprecise/noisy (e.g., 10 vs. 20 dots is easy. 10 dots vs. 11 dots is a lot more difficult.
100 vs. 110 dots? Same difference as 10 vs. 20 but