Conservation—Nonconservation: Alternative Explanations

  • Curt Acredolo
Part of the Springer Series in Cognitive Development book series (SSCOG)


As cognitively mature adults we know that a quantity remains constant across a transformation as long as there is no addition or subtraction of the specific quantity in question. That is, we appear to be aware of an identity rule: In the absence of addition or subtraction quantity (amount) is maintained. Furthermore, we appear to know that this rule is more than just one of many available cues for judging quantity. To the extent that the possibility of addition or subtraction can be monitored during a transformation, we know that the identity rule should take precedence over any other potential cue for judging the presence or absence of a change in quantity.


Identity Format Experimental Child Psychology Logical Necessity Standard Task Number Task 
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  • Curt Acredolo

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