Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Upton I 93
Operational thinking/Piaget/Logic/VsPiaget/Upton: Piaget has been criticized for using tasks that are unfamiliar to the child (e.g. Hughes , 1975)(1).
DonaldsonVsPiaget: conservation and class inclusion tasks did not make human sense to the child. Why pour liquid from one beaker to another if it makes no difference? Why ask if there are more cows than animals if we know that cows are animals? Donaldson and others since have shown that, by changing the tasks so that they make sense to the child, even four year olds are able to succeed in conservation and class inclusion tasks. For example, if the class inclusion task is changed so that it only uses cows, some standing, some lying down, and the question asked is ‘Are there more cows or more sleeping cows?’(a more sensible question), then three year olds can answer correctly. The logical challenge is the same, but the task makes more sense (Donaldson, 1978)(2).


1. Hughes, M. (1975) Egocentrism in preschool children. Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Edinburgh.
2. Donaldson, M. (1978) Children’s Minds. London: Croom Helm.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Piag I
J. Piaget
The Psychology Of The Child 2nd Edition 1969

Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011


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