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Child in the preoperational stage article

A study was carried out by two third season psychology learners to investigate Piaget’s stage theory. A 4 years old female child was tested in task of comprehension of more and much less, followed regular and altered versions of conservation and class addition tasks. Results indicated that child showed difficulties in both altered conservation and class introduction tasks inspite of the removal of a few confounds in standard jobs. This infers that kids of pre-operational stage perform lack the ability to conserve and categorize objects, as forecasted by Piaget.

Further study need to addresses children’s numerical abilities, along with attending to perceptive seductions. This research has to compare children who can and unable to attend to number logics, and also modifying the students inclusion activity so that perceptive seduction cannot take place.

Child in the preoperational stageMany analysts have been enthusiastic about various confounds which are present in Jean Piaget’s stage ideas. His studies have postulated that kids in the pre-operational stage shortage the ability to carry out conservation and class add-on tasks (White, Hayes, Livsey, 2005).

The strategies of the research however , have been completely criticized by many researchers. Imperfections and alternatives found in the conventional Piagetian tasks include conversational confusions, perceptual seduction, and linguistic misunderstandings (Light, 1986, Siegel, 1978, 2003, Meadows, 1988). Problems have been tackled with changes to the normal tasks. Most the research include found altered tasks to be better predictors of children’s abilities in conservation and class introduction tasks. (Light, 1986, Amtszeichen, 1978, 2003, Meadows, 1988).

According to Piaget’s stage theory, kids in the pre-operational stage are non-conservers (White et ing, 2005). Their very own tendency of centration triggers them to concentrate on only one element of the problem each time (White ainsi que al, 2005). This implies that they will be unable to have an understanding of that quantitative properties of certain items remain unrevised despite changes in its presence (White ainsi que al, 2005). For example , pre-operational children commonly judge water of the same volume to be more, after the alteration in standard liquid conservation tasks (Siegal, 2003). A problem in this method however , is within the misunderstandings caused by kid’s conversational encounter (Siegal, 2003). This theory proposes that rather than basically responding to the logic in back of the transformations of the liquid, children misinterprets the duplication of the same query as a “cue” to switch all their answer to be able to please the adult experimenter (Siegel, 2003).

To address conversational confusion, liquid conservation tasks had been customized by the ways of incidental modification (Light, 1986). The intention of this customization is to contextualize the intentions of adults in echoing the same issue. Light (1986) administered the normal Piagetian conservation procedure up to the point when both equally beakers of the same size and volume. Nevertheless , during the change, the experimenter “incidentally pointed out that one of the beakers was damaged, and found a taller and thinner beaker as the replacement box for the initial content. The effect found that only 5 percent of kids correctly taken care of immediately the preservation task in the standard state, while per cent correctly responded to the imprevisto condition (Light, 1986).

An alternative to Piaget’s theory of conservation is that non-conservers may actually end up being perceptually lured (Siegel, 2003). This theory postulates that children pay much more attention to the post-transformation condition and disregards the pre-transformation state(Siegel, 2003). They are unsuccessful the question about conservation mainly because all of their focus are redirected into the fresh state and in addition they perceive this as totally different from the old condition (Siegel, 2003). Research had shown that children whom do not experience the process of transformation are much very likely to conserve than children who perceives the change taking place (Siegel, 2003).

An additional difficulty that Piaget found in pre-operational kids is all their ability to attend to class introduction tasks (Siegel, 2003). In a study, pre-operational children had been presented with a couple of 6 cars and four trucks. The moment asked problem “are presently there more vehicles or vehicles, children will typically solution cars (White et ‘s, 2005). Description for this effect as suggested by Piaget is that youngsters are unable to conceptualize cars as being a more comprehensive category of the hierarchy (White et ‘s, 2005).

Constraints however , were found in this kind of theory regarding children’s linguistic misunderstandings. Research by Sigel (1978) as opposed the efficiency of some year old kids who were asked whether they want to eat candies with individuals asked if perhaps there were even more candy inside the array. Benefits found that significantly more children passed the eat-candy activity (50%) rather than 26% inside the more-candy task. This implicates that pre-operational children functions better upon tasks of class inclusion the moment linguistic tips were made prominent with age-appropriate cues compared using understanding of relational terminology just like “more and “less (Sigel, 1978).

A modified course inclusion task was designed in the current experiment to cope with the linguistic issues associated with child’s performance. Previous studies have found that children experience dilemma when comparable words are used in every single level of the hierarchy (e. g. dark cows, cows) (White et al, 2003). They are nevertheless , more acquainted with the associations where every single person makes up element of a whole (White et al, 2003). Therefore, when kids were taught, or are familiar with the superordinate class just like “family, they may be more likely to have certainty about its relation with the subordinates (e. g. three baby horses, two parent horses) (Meadows, 1998).

The present research is aimed to investigate if children in their pre-operational level experience troubles in conservation and class-inclusion tasks while predicted by simply Piaget. Through the research examined, it was expected that the child’s performance about modified jobs will be better than the standard responsibilities. It was hypothesized that the kid will perform poorly in standard preservation and school inclusion duties. It was likewise hypothesized the child’s overall performance in the regular tasks had been influenced by simply factors other than those designed in the common Piagetian process.

MethodParticipantThe subject is a four year and old feminine who is living at home with both of her father and mother in Petersham. She at the moment attends the local pre-school. Test was executed inside the infant’s house with two experimenters. One of the experimenter, who is her aunty, was responsible for meeting with the child, even though the other transcribes the events.

MaterialsFor comprehension of more or less, a total of 11 blocks had been used. your five blue and 5 yellow-colored blocks were used in the standard number conservation activity. 2 bottles of the same size and a thinner and taller bottle were used in the conventional liquid conservation task. A photo with four black mounts and a couple of white horse was used inside the standard category inclusion task.

In the customized liquid conservation task, a couple of toy race horses were employed as heroes for refreshments. 2 wine bottles of the same size, with one missing the packaging was used in the pre-transformation level. A higher, thinner bottle of wine was used in the post-transformation stage.

In the altered class add-on task, 2 larger “parent toy mounts and three or more smaller “baby toy horses were put next to each other.

ProcedureThe research was accomplished in the purchase test of comprehension of more and less; standard amount conservation; regular liquid preservation; standard category inclusion; modified liquid conservation; and altered class addition.

In the comprehension of more and less process, the experimenter takes out eight blocks, nevertheless separates all of them so there were 4 both sides. There is also one other basked with 3 free blocks in it. The child is then asked to make one pile more than the other, accompanied by the quick to make the right now larger heap less than the other load.

In the regular number preservation task, the blue and yellow blocks were put in 2 lines equidistant of every other. Upon post-transformation, spots between the yellow blocks were enlarged by the experimenter. Please refer to the appendix for details on rest of the tasks.

ResultsOutcome of the research shows that your child is able to comprehend when something is more, but was unable change the stack that got more objects to be lower than the smaller load.

Results have shown the child surely could correctly solution the pre-transformation questions of standard number and the liquid conservation, as well as modified water tasks, but failed in post-transformation and justifications of these tasks.

Finally, the benefits have shown that the child was unable to properly answer one of the class add-on tasks, possibly after idea of family was eventually brought to her by the experimenter in the modified class inclusion job. For the complete results, you should refer to the results overview in Appendix A.


Contrary to the anticipations, the child did not perform better in any with the modified jobs as compared to normal tasks. The results give support pertaining to the hypothesis that kid will conduct poorly in standard conservation and school inclusion responsibilities. The child performed consistently inadequately across all three standard Piagetian tasks. As a result, the children’s performance in the tests clearly places her in Piaget’s preoperational stage of development. The the desired info is consistent with almost all critics nowadays in this field, who also found kids of preoperational stage to accomplish poorly around standard duties (Light, 1986, Siegel, 1978, 2003, Meadows, 1988). Therefore, the validity of the criticisms relies on the child’s performance on customized tasks. A notable element of the benefits indicates that child’s efficiency in the regular tasks could possibly be hindered simply by her capability to correctly know the concept of the less.

The results did not support the hypothesis that child’s performance in the normal tasks were influenced simply by factors other than those designed in the regular Piagetian process. No support of conversational confusion was found in the current experiment whereby despite the associated with such confounds. The circunstancial transformation inside the modified the liquid conservation job did not create better results in comparison to the standard jobs. This consequence did not support Light’s (1986) experiment exactly where children in modified responsibilities performed considerably better than those doing the conventional tasks. The reason why behind this kind of result could possibly be that the kid does not have a appropriate grasp of the concept of the less. Alternatively, the child, who may be inher preoperational stage, may genuinely shortage the ability to spend less, as proposed by Piaget (White ainsi que al, 2005).

A limitation behind this kind of result may be attributed to the idea that the kid may be perceptually seduced (Siegel, 2003). Essentially, despite the transformation being “incidental, the child still witnessed this taking place. Consequently, child’s attention was guided toward the post-transformation state in the water “got bigger in the taller, slimmer bottle. Future research might incorporate the “incidental modification task that prevents your child from seeing the process of alteration taking place.

Not any evidence intended for linguistic misconception was seen in the current try things out. The child performed equally terribly in equally standard and modified course inclusion responsibilities despite the removal of such mistake. The result demonstrates even after introducing the idea of the family to the kid with evidence of learning, the lady was still not able to comprehend that the “family was obviously a superordinate of sophistication with subordinates of parent or guardian and baby horses. This kind of finding would not support Meadow’s (1988) theory in that knowledge of the romance between superordinate and subordinates helps kids perform better in class add-on tasks.

The child’s problem in all school inclusion tasks may be related to Piaget’s theory of centration whereby kids in the preoperational stage are merely able to attend to one aspect from the problem each time (White ainsi que al, 2005). In this case, the kid may be centrated on the older concept that there are more baby horses and disregard the new concept the baby race horses were an element of the “family. Alternatively, the child’s overall performance may be hindered by their inability to comprehend more and less.

An additional limitation with the study is that results in the experiment had been strongly impeded by the reality the child was unable to comprehend when something is less. This kind of confound produces ambiguity towards the question if child in the preoperational stage genuinely lack the ability in conservation and class introduction tasks, or perhaps if the final results were related to their insufficient logics with numbers. Future research may overcome this matter by comparing the results of preoperational children who have are able, and unable tocorrectly attend to the concept of more and significantly less. An alternative method to get over this problem is to employ age-specific linguistic cues in class introduction tasks as opposed to using concepts of “more and “less (Siegel. 1978).

Overall, the results in the study claim that children in the preoperational level do certainly lack the cabability to correctly conduct conservation and class introduction tasks regardless of the removal of a lot of confounds. However , the results were not clear slice to whether they were caused by infant’s ability to have an understanding of to more and less or perhaps if these people were perceptually seduced. Future exploration could evaluate children whom are able and unable to attend to number logics, as well as modifying the class add-on task to remove the confound of perceptive seduction.


Light, S. C. (1986). Context, conservation and conversation. In M. Richards. & P. Mild (Eds. ) Children of social realms: Development within a social framework. Cambridge, U. K.: Polity Press.

Meadows S (1988) Piaget’s contribution to understanding cognitive expansion. In K Richardson & S. Sheldon (Eds. ) Cognitive Development to Teenage years. Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Siegel, L., McCabe A., Manufacturer J, & Mathews M (1978) Data for understanding of class add-on in preschool children: Linguistic factors and training effects. Child Advancement, 49, 688-693.

Siegal, Meters. (2003). Intellectual development. In A. Slater & G. Bremner (Eds. ) An introduction to developmental psychology. Malden, MUM: Blackwell. Phase 8White. F, Hayes. W, Livesey. G (2005). Assessing Piaget’s says: Preoperational period. Developmental Psychology: From infancy to adult life. Pearson Prentice Hall. Phase 5


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