Developmental Psychology - Samuel and Bryant (1983)

Robyn Chamberlain
Mind Map by Robyn Chamberlain , updated more than 1 year ago
Robyn Chamberlain
Created by Robyn Chamberlain almost 6 years ago
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A-Level Psychology (AS - 15 Core Studies (OCR)) Mind Map on Developmental Psychology - Samuel and Bryant (1983), created by Robyn Chamberlain on 04/07/2014.

Resource summary

Developmental Psychology - Samuel and Bryant (1983)
1 Background
1.1 Rose and Blank (1974) study established that the standard question was making the children misinterpret what the researcher wanted to hear.
1.2 Piaget (a psychologist) believed that there were four stages of a childs cognitive development that differed from the adult development of the cognitive process. He proposed a maturational theory of cognitive.

Annotations:

  • Piaget believed in nature over nurture.
  • Cognitive development can described as the transformation of the initial schema by the twin processesof Assimilation (practise) and Accomodation (modification).
1.2.1 Piagets Four Stages

Annotations:

  • 1) Sensory Motor Stage (0-2 years) Only thinking about personal senses and interaction with the enviroment.
  • 2) Pre-operational stage (2-7 years) Child is egocentric and unable to conserve or see the world from another angle.
  • 3) Concrete Stage (7-11) Child develops conservation and can perform complex operations but only with 'real' physical objects.
  • 4) Formal Operations (11+ years) The child can now perform logical operations and abstract reasoning. According ro Piaget, not everyone reaches this stage.
2 Aim
2.1 To find out if a child will give the wrong answer if they are asked a question twice during a conservational task (Paget's method).
2.2 Attempts to disprove Piaget's belief that children under 7 years cannot conserve.
3 Participants/Sample
3.1 252 (boys and girls) between the ages 5 - 8.5 from schools/playgroups in Devon.
3.1.1 Split into four groups of 63.
3.1.1.1 Aged around 5.3
3.1.1.2 Aged around 6.3
3.1.1.3 Aged around 7.3
3.1.1.4 Aged around 8.3
3.2 Opportunistic Sample
4 Method
4.1 Variables
4.1.1 (IV) Independent Variable
4.1.1.1 Experimental Conditions
4.1.1.2 Material used in the conservation task
4.1.1.3 Age
4.1.2 (DV) Dependent Variable
4.2 Laboratory Experiment
4.3 Independant Measures Design
5 Proceedure
5.1 1) The 252 were put into 4 controlled age groups of 63.
5.1.1 These were divided into 3 sub groups
5.1.1.1 Standard

Annotations:

  • Using the pre- and post- transformation and questions as Piaget did.
5.1.1.2 One-Judgement

Annotations:

  • The question was only asked after transformation.
5.1.1.3 Fixed Array (Control group)

Annotations:

  • The children only saw the objects after they had been transformed and were then asked the question.
5.1.1.4 Each subgroup has 21 children from each age control group which is a total of 84 children for each experimental condition.
5.2 There are four trials per child for each conservational task.

Annotations:

  • 12 trials overall for each child
5.3 2) Each child carried out different conservational tasks using 'Experimental Conditions'
5.3.1 Counters for Numbers
5.3.2 Plasticine for Mass
5.3.3 Liquid for Volume
6 Findings
6.1 The findings were recorded at the number of errors made during the conservation task - an error was recorded when the child incorrectly stated how the volume, mass or number had changed.
6.2 (1) Maximum error - 12, minimum error - 0
6.2.1 Age - The mean number of errors decreased as the child got older, showing that the ability to conserve increases with age.
6.2.2 Experimental conditions - The mean number of errors is lower for the one-judgement condition. This is only when the post-transformation question is asked.
6.2.2.1 The highest number of errors recorded were in the control group - This is when the children did not see the transformation take place but are still asked the question.
6.3 (2)
6.3.1 Fewer errors are made when conserving numbers compared to mass and volume.
6.3.2 The fixed-array condition is where the highest amount of errors are made.
7 Conclusion
7.1 Children could conserve better than Piaget believed which is shown to be related to the context in which the tasks are presented.
7.2 Those who answered the two question Standard made more errors than those answering the one-judgement question - The fewer errors for the one-questioned procedure indicates children have cognitive understanding.
7.3 The fixed-array condition has the highest amount of errors overall, suggesting that children need all of the information to answer a conservation task correctly.
7.3.1 What this shows in relation to the standard anf one-judgement conditions is that despite the fact children observe a physical change in appearance, they have sufficient knowledge to understand that the amount of material has not changed.
7.4 Children think differently from adults, but the difference is not as great as Piaget believed.
8 Usefulness
8.1 Children cognitively develop - This study provides the possibility that our abilities are not fixed at birth and can develop by social interaction throughout ones life - particularly at a young age.
8.2 This study highlights the need to pay attention to research methodology - how you approach participants and their understand of the procedure.
8.3 This study shows us guidelines at what level a child can learn at that can be used in the education system.
9 Strengths
9.1 Method

Annotations:

  • More complex then Rose and Blanks, therefore advancing our understanding of how the children may carry out a conservation task.
9.2 High Validity

Annotations:

  • Tight controls on the variables allow for a clear link between cause and effect in the study's results.
  • The IV's were controlled by: - Having a different procedure for each experimental condition. - Repitition of the tasks were presented in a random order to reduce 'order effect' possibility. - The age grouping can be seen as a type quasi-experiment.
9.3 Replication Study

Annotations:

  • Useful as it helps confirm previous findings and come to the conclusion that the previous study's results (Piaget) were down to the experimental method design opposed to the ability of the children.
9.4 Sample

Annotations:

  • Large sample means that it can be generalised to the young general public.
9.5 Quantitative Data

Annotations:

  • Easy to analyse.
9.6 Practical Applicaition

Annotations:

  • The skills tested are ones related to everyday life.
  • Findings can be adapted and applied to teaching and other educational systems.
9.7 Ethics

Annotations:

  • Raises no ethical concerns.
10 Weaknesses
10.1 Ethics

Annotations:

  • It is not clear whether or not consent was given grom the adults for the researchers to use the children in the study.
10.2 Low Ecological Validity

Annotations:

  • It is a laboratory expeiment set in an envrioment the children will not be used to when it comes to learning.
  • Using sweets instead of counters may have also acted as a motivator for the children to par-take in the study.
10.3 Representivity

Annotations:

  • Only children from Deven were involved in the experiment and it is possinle that the children from Devon may have a significantly higher or lower ability to conserve than the norm of the general public. (Not reprentative)
10.4 'Fine-Tuning'

Annotations:

  • It is only fine-tuning Piagets study - Providing evidence to back up certain theories and establish others as innacurate.
10.5 Validity

Annotations:

  • In the presence of an adult, the children may have felt compelled to do the task they deem dull and un-interesting, so instead of actually thinking about the answers the children give one out at random.
10.6 Quantitative Data

Annotations:

  • Does not allow the researchers to know how the children took to the tasks; if they understood them, if they had any questions (it is not stated if questions had been asked by the children).
  • The children were not asked to explain themselves in either instances (whether they got an answer correct or made an error).
10.7 Pordopas (1987)

Annotations:

  • A psychologist who suggests that the standard conditions constant errors could have been the result of a black within the short-term memory due to the laboratory conditions the children were in.
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