Conservation and the appearance—reality distinction: What do children really know and what do they answer?

Bijstra, J., van Geert, P. & Jackson, S., Mar-1989, In : British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 7, p. 43-53 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Two experiments aimed to explore whether children's failure on conservation tasks is due to their tendency to give subjective judgements when objective ones are required. In Expt 1, 5‐, 6‐ and 7‐year‐old children were given four conservation tasks. First, the subjects were asked to say how the task situations looked and then how they really were. The results indicated that the children gave significantly more correct answers in this appearance‐reality (A‐R) condition than in the control condition, a standard procedure. In Expt 2, an extended conservation task with both appearance‐reality and standard statements was used. It appeared that a particular group of children gave non‐conserving answers to standard statements and conserving answers to A‐R statements. This group intermediated between real non‐conservers and real conservers. The findings are discussed in relation to the Piagetian concept of the intermediate child and to recent research on socio‐cognitive conflict theory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Mar-1989

ID: 6250126