Supporting Study: Piaget (1963)

Aim: To investigate the age at which a child develops object permanence.

Procedure: In the child’s view, Piaget hid a toy under a blanket and observed what the child did afterwards. Object permanence would be present if the child continued to look for the toy as it would indicate that he/she has a mental representation of it.

Findings & Conclusion: Piaget found that the children continued to search for the toy at around 8 months old. This supports the notion of object permanence as a child is able to form a mental representation of the object.

Evaluation: Though Piaget’s study supports his theory, Bower & Wishart (1972) conducted a study that found evidence to suggest that object permanence may begin at an earlier age (1 – 4 months old). Nonetheless, the notion of object permanence is present in both studies. An example of a child demonstrating object permanence can be seen in the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjBh9ld_yIo

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