Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Jean Piaget on A-not B Error - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 55
A-not B Error/Developmental psychology/Piaget/Upton: Piaget placed two cloths side by side in front of infants aged nine to 12 months. (…) their attention was attracted to an interesting toy, which was then hidden under one of the cloths (location A). Infants older than nine months typically found the toy. After a number of trials the toy was then hidden under the other cloth (location B).
Piaget found that, despite watching the toy being hidden in the new location (B), infants.
Expalantion/Piaget: under the age of 12 months would continue to look for the toy under the first cloth (location A). According to Piaget, this was evidence that infants do not understand that objects can exist independently of their own actions. The infant connects the rediscovery of the object in location A with his or her own actions in lifting the cloth. The infant is assumed to reason that ‘if I wish to find the toy again I must do what I did before’.
BaillargeonVsPiaget: This evidence is clearly incompatible with the findings of researchers such as Baillargeon (2002)(1), which suggest that the understanding that objects continue to exist even when not visible develops in the first few months of life. >A-not-B error/Psychological theories.


1. Baillargeon, R. (2002) The acquisition of physical knowledge in infancy: a summary in eight lessons, in Goswami, U (ed.) Handbook of Child Cognitive Development. Oxford: Blackwell.


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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. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" 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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