Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 2, Issue 9, pp 411–418 | Cite as

The development of object-permanence: Some studies of existence constancy

  • T. G. R. Bower


Object permanence or existence constancy was one of the phenomena which greatly exercised the philosophical fathers of experimental psychology. The topic has been little studied since. Michotte has described the psychophysics of existence constancy, while Piaget has studied its development. Michotte’s work was restricted to adults while Piaget’s notably lacked careful psychophysical control. The aim of the present study was to bridge the gap between the two, to study the psychophysics of existence constancy in infants. Results showed that there is remarkably little difference between infant and adult as far as psychophysical control is concerned. The major difference seems to be a rate of processing difference. However, changes in processing rate will not account for the development of the concept of object permanence. What seems to be learned is a rule which can override perceptual constancy and nonconstancy in some situations.


Nipple Perceptual System Perceptual Constancy Silver Mirror Half Silver Mirror 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. R. Bower
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityUSA

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