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Application Paper: Developmental Psychology

Part 1: Piaget – A Cognitive Developmental Biography

Scott Williams was born June 16, 1984, to Tom Harris and Mitchell Anderson in Beverly Hills. Scott’s parents characterized him as imaginative, artistic, and extremely concerned about his personal growth. Scott began exhibiting secondary circular reactions when he was four months old. He took hold of a piece of his clothing close to his mouth and stuck it, which felt good for him. He practised by trying to grip whatever he reached with his hands. He would attempt to smuggle a toy into his mouth whenever it was handed to him. Because it gave Scott satisfaction, he would repeatedly suck everything he stuffed in his mouth. Later the occurrence of object permanence developed at six months of age by repeatedly playing with a stuffed animal instead of putting them in his mouth. Scott inhibited the behavior where he comprehended the nature of the object and would also recollect his past interactions with the toy.

Mitchell regarded Scott as motivated and diligent, traits she saw in him as he was still a toddler.Scott started responding to his parents, siblings, and things with greater thought and intention. Scott began imitating his brothers’ activities at the age of ten months, which is an illustration of coordinationreactions. When Scott’s toy rolled out of his grasp at this point, he could call for assistance. He would put a lot of effort into obtaining the toy if it slid, if he liked shaking it and making noise. Scott would sob if he could not grasp it with his strength and was not aided. Moreover, at age two, Scott showed the aspect of dramatic play at his school, where he would use modelling clay to build his parents’ house and his and his neighbor’s kid playing in the yard, thus showcasing his metacognition through the imaginative playing.

Scott was said to be creative. He demonstrated the instance of assimilation per the mother’s account. Scott, for example, learnt the dog schema when he was three years old since his family owned a poodle. Whenever Scott spotted a dog in his children’s book, he would exclaim, “See, Mommy, dog.” Scott once saw a goat for the first time. Thinking that anything with four limbs and fur was a dog because he had an image of one, he exclaimed to his mother, “See, dog, Mommy!” Additionally, Scott tended to view things and the universe entirely from his viewpoint when he was three years old. According to Tom, he attempted to console him anytime he sobbed by offering toys or making promises of treats.

On one occasion, Smith’s older sister caused his father great distress. Smith provided an egocentrism example. When he saw that Tom was angry, he attempted to console him using his toy. He saw everything from his father’s point of view. Further, his parents indicated that on a certain occasion, when he was four years of age, his mother handed his bigger brother an entire piece of cake while cutting it into little portions for him to consume fast. On the other hand, Scott sobbed because he desired a larger one just like his brother. He could now recognize, for example, that their breadth can balance a complete cake and portions or a smaller drink and a bigger glass. Thus, this demonstrated the aspect of centration.

In addition, Scott had become a creative young boy who enjoyed numbers by the time he was ten. He showed a lot of reversibility at this stage. For example, if he completed his math assignment early, he would notice that if 2 + 5 = 7, then 7 – 5 = 2. After realizing it was, Scott could now state that the home dog was indeed a Labrador. Scott had reached the age of 14 and was now acting normally. For example, Scott would claim that all planes use propellers to fly because he enjoyed talking about subjects with his father. He witnessed several propeller planes visiting an aeroplane exhibition with his mother. He thus deduced that all planes fly using propellers by using inductivereasoning. Given that not all aeroplanes fly via propellers, and Scott’s expertise at that age was constrained, this was a blunder and a failure of judgment. Lastly,He displayed deductivereasoning as well. For instance, Scott once asked his brother to help him with arithmetic while writing his homework. Scott cited the instructor’s statement that sharp angles are fewer than 90 degrees. There was a test attached to that illustration. Scott asserted that the angle of 40 degrees should be acute because acute angles are those lower than 90 degrees, and because 40 is lower than 90, it ought to be an acute angle.

Part 2: Critical Thinking and Scientific Understanding

Who Is Right? A Good Answer Should Make Appropriate Reference to All Three Articles

In light of Piaget’s (2013) research and Lourenco & Machado’s (1996) support of Piaget, Baillargeon (1987) appears to be correct when he criticizes the assessment of Piaget’s theory. The major development throughout the sensorimotor stage is the awareness that things exist and happen in the environment irrespective of one’s activities. Adults believe that an object must have existed during the lapse of time between two instances in time to be able to exist in both. Piaget (2013) believed that until they are around nine months old, newborns do not start to adopt this idea. This result was supported mostly by data on young babies’ responses to concealed items. Piaget discovered that newborns do not look for items they have seen concealed before the age of nine months. For instance, if a toy is wrapped in a cloth, they do not try to lift the fabric and grab the item while being able to do both of these things. According to Piaget (2013), for early infants, objects are transitory things that stop existing once they are no longer apparent and start to exist again when they emerge back into view rather than permanent beings that remain constant in time. In the second phase of animism, children believe that everything surrounding them is living and that even inanimate objects have life (Piaget, 2013). Preoperational toddlers may nonetheless tell apart between alive and inanimate objects. In Piaget’s defense, Lourenço and Machado (1996) indicated that Piaget’s hypotheses central idea is the succession of transformations, not the “age of acquisition.” According to Lourenco and Machado (1996), preoperational frameworks can be used to handle toddlers’ new behaviors, despite criticisms that claim operational ideas are necessary. Yet Lourenco’s reasoning is not supported by research; rather, it is founded on his acceptance of Piaget’s position. Children have a lot of egos (Piaget, 2013). Toddlers, however, can adopt other individuals’ viewpoints earlier than that. A preschooler is not as egotistical as Piaget claimed; only children under three are egocentric.

However, Baillargeon (1987) states that if offered trials that did not involve coordinated behaviors, infant toddlers between 3.5 and 4.5 months could display object permanence. She applied a strategy termed the “violation of expectation” (VOE) hypothesis to emphasize the fact that young toddlers have a propensity to stare longer at unfamiliar objects (Baillargeon, 1987). In her experiment, a new object was first shown to a baby. Participants are exposed to these stimuli continuously until they demonstrate by turning away that it was no more novel. An oscillating “drawbridge” served as the habituation trigger. Two additional triggers, each a modification of the habituation trigger, were subsequently shown to the babies (Baillargeon, 1987). One of these experimental stimuli in Baillargeon’s studies is a conceivable occurrence (i.e., one that may occur). At the same time, the other is an improbable occurrence (i.e. one that would not physically occur in the manner it appears). It was discovered that infants looked at the impossibility for a longer period. Baillargeon concluded that this showed the newborns were astonished and startled because the improbable occurrence had broken their expectations of the behavior of real things (Baillargeon, 1987). This shows that the toddler could get preoccupied or lose excitement in the object, making them less motivated to look for it. They might also lack the physical cooperation to perform the motor motions required to retrieve the object. Thus, this proves Baillargeon’s (1987) hypotheses right.

What Is the Next Line of Research That should be done to Advance Our Understanding in This Area?

Piaget’s initial theory of object persistence heavily emphasized occlusion incidents. This caused most object permanence scholars and theorists to overlook additional ways that things might disappear from view. The study of object persistence has recently expanded beyond occlusion occurrences, although the conceptual flexibility this has granted has not yet been thoroughly investigated (Baillargeon, 1987; Lourenco & Machado, 1996). Further research on early infants’ physical understanding is anticipated to elucidate further abilities. Defining how newborns acquire, express, and apply their physical understanding will provide new routes into the crucial question of the beginnings of human cognition as the image of toddlers’ physical environment gets more sophisticated.

In addition, more research is required to understand the relevance of this occurrence and assess whether seeking or looking-time measurements may be used as an objective measurement of newborn knowledge. It is hypothesized that adapting the conventional ecological concept to better fit the present focus on affordances could explain the observed data and a wide range of other occurrences in the research. According to the updated ecological theory, how an object disappears from view affects how an organism will behave in the future. Hence, “learning object permanence” entails understanding that specific behaviors have beneficial results even after the intended item has vanished from sight in a specific way. Instead of thinking of object persistence skills in terms of intelligence, such a study will think of them in terms of executing behaviors relevant to the environment.

If Piaget Were Alive Today and Had Access to Modern Technology and Modern Research Methods, How do You Think This Would Have Affected His Views and Methods?

Piaget might choose volunteers using technology to provide trustworthy findings if he were still alive. Due to technology’s ability to increase efficiency, he could likewise be able to lessen sample bias. To give adequate information, he could count the participants precisely, record their numbers, and describe their socioeconomic position. In addition, it would be simple for him to perform statistical analysis on the participants and document the results for later use. Piaget would evaluate data using technical instruments and create documentation for interpretation rather than depending just on acute observation. Moreover, Piaget would use technology to enhance his data study, data collecting, recording, and contacting a large number of individuals. He would do the interview over the phone with computer-assisted technology. He also would conduct email interviews with a large number of individuals. The recorded information Piaget utilized is not available to most psychologists. Piaget would utilize technologies like “FastField” to convert information into Word and PDF documents and save them for later use. He required kids from various geographical locations; thus, he would utilize “Fulcrum” for geology with bespoke maps. Finally, he could as well pre-fill forms using “Device Magi.”


Baillargeon, R. (1987). Object permanence in 3½-and 4½ -month-old infants. Developmental Psychology23(5), 655-664.

Lourenco, O., & Machado, A. (1996). In defense of Piaget’s theory: A reply to 10 common criticisms. Psychological Review103(1), 143.

Piaget, J. (2013). The construction of reality in the child. Routledge.


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