Conservation without conversation? An alternative, non‐verbal paradigm for assessing conservation of liquid quantity

Kevin Wheldall*, Barbara Poborca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A non‐verbal paradigm for assessing conservation based on an operant discrimination learning procedure is described. Children were trained to press a button when shown two jars containing equal amounts of water and to refrain from pressing when the amounts were unequal. In this way children were taught to respond to a non‐verbal request by wordlessly signalling their evaluation of the relationship between two quantities. When criterion was reached, one of two quantities previously judged equal was poured into a different shaped jar and an evaluatory response to this transformed stimulus was non‐verbally requested. Initial results suggest that young children who could not conserve within the traditional verbal procedure were more likely to demonstrate*** conservation within the non‐verbal paradigm and that traditional Piagetian tasks are verbally biased. 1980 The British Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-134
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

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