A test of milieu effects with some of Piaget's tasks

Jacqueline Goodnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The approach presented here is based on individual testing in Hong Kong of 10-13 year old boys who differed in nationality (Western versus Chinese) and in education (from full schooling to literacy only). These subjects were given five tasks. The main concern here is the tie between performance and procedure. Any standard procedure, however, emphasizes a child's first performance, his first attempt at solution. Similarities across milieus are far more striking than differences. The results do provide, however, examples of three specific ways by which a milieu can give rise to differences in performance: by providing information, sometimes helpful, sometimes harmful; by promoting differences in intelligence; and by promoting differences in the properties that define a concept. All of the Hong Kong groups show some departure from the Geneva results. On the combinatorial task, the fit is good for the relationship between success and age, and fair for the quality of performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalPsychological monographs
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 1962
Externally publishedYes


  • reasoning
  • educational anthropology
  • judgment


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