Piaget's Habituation Theory

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The purpose of this paper is to use the habituation technique in young infants to evaluate one hypothesis derived from Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. I will compare 5-months olds in a task that involves possible and impossible outcomes. Piaget’s theory specifies the cognitive competencies of children of this age. 1a. In the sensorimotor stage, children from birth to age 2 familiarize themselves with the world through means of sensory interaction, such as hearing, looking, grasping and mouthing. 1b. Object permanence, the idea that objects still exist without visually being able to see them, is also learned during this stage. Psychologist, Jean Piaget felt as though young infants were not born with the ability to think abstractly, …show more content…
1c. Also formed at the same time, as object permanence is a form of secure infant attachment, called stranger anxiety. This is when the infant is not able to match a schema to a familiar face, thus deeming the person unfamiliar and expressing distress. Stranger anxiety occurs during the same time as object permanence, around 8 moths of age, probably because they are moving into the preoperational stage where their brains use intuition now have developed schemas to make minor decisions. 1d. Defying Piaget, Psychologists Koleen McCrink and Karen Wynn develop an alternative theory of cognitive capability that says infants are able to recognize incorrect from correct numerical depictions. They make the argument that children are in fact born with some sort of distinctive number sense. Unlike Piaget, who believed infants were not capable of any basic abstract knowledge, McCrink cornered the idea that children can compute basic addition and subtraction. Wynn proved Piaget wrong, showing how children are able to even recognize incorrect outcomes when dealing with large …show more content…
However, future investigations may need to adopt techniques that improve upon those used here. 5a.Time being added right before revealing the outcome cause a greater amount of complication for the infant. Infants already lack focusing skills, so to then add 10 seconds to the time they have to keep attention is skews the data slightly. The results in Figure 3 do not lead tp any conclusion because infant conditions and capabilities are not accounted for. In a sense, both Figure 2 and Figure 3 still read the same information because the infants still recognized the wrong computations, but were not as dishabituated because of the extra focus time. 5b. Figure 3 would excite Piaget because it would confirm his findings. He could use the data collected to support his prediction by stating that infants stared at both outcomes for about the same time, distinguishing no differences. Although Figure 2 proves against his theory, he could say that the staring times support his idea of infants learning through the means of looking. 5c. McCrink and Wynn conducted an experiment on 9-month-old infants to prove their predictions true about infants and their complex way of computing numbers at an early age. After using a test movie to gage their understanding visually instead of using an object-tracking mechanism, they found that infants do not shy away from large numbers because they aren’t familiar with

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