Naughty Teddy Analysis

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McGarrigle and Donaldson (1974) Conservation Accidents Naughty Teddy Experiment This experiment aimed to recreate Piaget’s task of number conservation. The slightly adapted study by McGarrigle and Donaldson had a condition in which the counters appeared to move accidentally and through a ‘naughty teddy’ rather than Piaget’s method of deliberately moving the counters himself. 80 participants were involved in the study who were 4 to 6 years, they were subjected to the experiment of counters where the experimenter presents children with two rows of counters and asks them if there are the same number in each row, then a ‘naughty teddy’ runs across the table and accidentally knocks the counters in one row closer. The same question of comparing…show more content…
However in the ‘Naughty Teddy' experiment there is an attempt to overcome the problem of the child believing he is to change his answer to the second question. It is 'Naughty Teddy' that mischievously rearranges a row of counters and in so doing, 'confuses' the experimenter. This allows the experimenter to use the second question without inferring that a change of answer is required. Mcgarrigle and Donaldson made the experiment more ‘child friendly’ by introducing an object the children could relate to and so they could understand the questions asked of them without having to ‘guess’ what the experimenter might mean. The findings were also conclusive as the method followed by Mcgarrigle was extremely similar to Piaget’s with only a slight adaptation, showing that younger children can also conserve. However because the study relies on younger children having animism, the teddy is used. But if comparative studies were undertaken then older children would needed to be asked differently and so results for conservation could be affected. The use ‘Naughty Teddy' may be distracting the child away from concentrating to the change of counters and therefore the answer given is not a true account of what the child
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