Using the Habituation Technique to Evaluate a Piagetian Hypothesis

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The purpose of this paper is to use the habituation technique in young infants to evaluate one hypothesis derived from Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. I will compare 5-months olds in a task that involves possible and impossible outcomes. Piaget’s theory specifies the cognitive competencies of children of this age. 1a. In their sensorimotor stage, from birth to age 2, children experience the world through their senses and actions (Myers, 2013). 1b. According to Piaget, within that stage, between 1- 6 months, babies live in the present because they lack in object permanence. Meaning, they are unaware that objects exist even when they are not visible at that moment. By 8 months of age, object of permanence begin to emerge because infants begin to develop memory for objects that are not perceived (Myers, 2013). 1c. Piaget further explains that after object permanence emerged, children at 8 months start to develop stranger anxiety where they would often cry in front of strangers and reach for someone who is familiar to them (Myers, 2013). Both object permanence and stranger anxiety emerge around the same time because children are able to remember and build schemas. While Piaget’s cognitive theory consists of four stages (sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational) that children go through as they grow, McCrink and Wynn proposed a different theory of cognitive development. They developed a deeper theory suggesting that children are able to understand object permanence at an earlier age, 5-6 months, because they are able to track objects, or at least a very small limited amount at a time (McCrink & Wynn, 2004). This is because infants can remember and file objects in memory of the few objects that exist before them. In addition to object permanence, they can also discern when objects are added or subtracted before them not because

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