Psych Essay

1580 Words 7 Pages
Using the Habituation Technique to Evaluate a Piagetian Hypothesis

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-month olds in a task that involves possible and impossible outcomes. Piaget’s theory specifies the cognitive competencies of children of this age. 1a. According to Piaget, children in the sensorimotor stage experience the world and develop cognitively by using their five senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. 1b. Until an infant is 8 months of age, Piaget believes that infants do not comprehend object permanence. This means that until they are 8 months, when an object disappears from
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Habituation is a method that might be used to explore predictions of Piaget’s theory. 2a. Habituation occurs when an infant is presented something (sight, smell, etc.) for the first time, their response will be more intense than something they are used to and bored of seeing. It can begin as early as when they are in the womb. It is used to measure cognitive processes in infants by determining how infants see things and what they remember, For example, when showing an infant a picture of something over and over again, the intensity of their responses lessens. When you introduce something new into an event that an infant is already accustomed to, to invoke a greater reaction similar to the first, this is called dishabituation. This technique can help scientists determine whether an infant can recognize an impossible numerical outcome. 2b. Another process or technique that can be used to test the cognitive development and capacity of infants would be something that can read and study their brain, as they are unable to speak and communicate when they are this young. An example would be an fMRI or an Electroencephalogram (EEG), which can measure the infant’s brain activity during the experiments. 2c. The habituation technique is a better technique because the results will be more credible in determining the infant’s physical behavior, however recorded brain activity can help support the results from the experiment. An

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