Advertisement

Review of Piagetian Infancy Research

Object Concept Development
  • Gerald Gratch

Abstract

This review primarily is addressed to research published in the English language on Piaget’s notions of the object concept. The infant’s achievement of the concept of the object can be viewed as the cardinal achievement of the sensorimotor period. To have the idea that the world is populated with enduring, independent objects, including persons and events, implies that the infant has a scheme of cause, space, and time within a coherent framework. Further, Piaget has argued that the conceptions of cause, space, and time develop consistently with an invariant reference point, which is nothing else but the concept of the object. As we shall discuss below, Piaget’s theory of what is object awareness and how it is achieved contrasts strongly with empiricistic views. The infant does not become increasingly aware of the nature of objects through repeated exposure to them. Rather, the infant constructs, in stages, a scheme of the object of his knowledge through his sensorimotor activity in the physical and social world of things and persons. Piaget (1954) diagnoses the stages from the infant’s responses to hidden objects. He describes six stages. In the first two, the infant shows no special behavior related to objects. In the next two stages, the infant’s orientation to hidden objects is determined by how he acted on them while they were in view. In the fifth stage, the infant’s search is free of prior activity; he need only see where the object disappears to find it. But it is only in the sixth stage that the infant can consistently imagine and identify the location of objects, even when their place of disappearance is subsequently obscured.

Keywords

Young Infant Catch Trial Object Concept Object Permanence Hide Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ainsworth, M., 1974, The development of infant-mother attachment, in “Review of Child Development Research” B. M. Caldwell and H. N. Ricciuti (eds.),University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  2. Appel, K. J., 1971, Three studies in object conceptualization: Piaget’s sensorimotor Stages four and five. Unpublished dissertation, University of Houston.Google Scholar
  3. Bartlett, F., 1958, “Thinking,” Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Bell, S. M., 1970, The development of the concept of the object as related to infant-mother attachment. Child Development 41: 291–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bell, S. M., 1971, Early cognitive development and its relationship to infant-mother attachment: A study of disadvantaged Negro infants. Final report, Project No. 508, U.S. Office of Education.Google Scholar
  6. Bloom, L., 1973, “One Word at a Time,” Mouton, The Hague.Google Scholar
  7. Bower, T. G. R., 1966, The visual world of infants, Scientific American 215: 80–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bower, T. G. R., 1967, The development of object permanence: Some studies of existence constancy, Perception and Psychophysics 2: 411–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bower, T. G. R., 1972a, Object perception in infants, Perception 2: 411–418.Google Scholar
  10. Bower, T. G. R., 1972b, Mechanisms of cognitive development in infants. Colloquium, MIT Psychology Department.Google Scholar
  11. Bower, T. G. R.,1974, Repetition in human development,Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. 20: 303–318.Google Scholar
  12. Bower, T. G. R., and Paterson, J. G., 1972, Stages in the development of the object concept, Cognition 1 (1).Google Scholar
  13. Bower, T. G. R., and Paterson, J. G., 1973, The separation of place, movement and object in the world of the infant, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 15: 161–168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bower, T. G. R., and Wishart, J. G., 1972, The effects of motor skill on object permanence, Cognition 1: 165–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bower, T. G. R., Broughton, J. M., and Moore, M. K., 1970a, Assessment of intention in sensorimotor infants, Nature 228: 679–681.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bower, T. G. R., Broughton, J. M., and Moore, M. K., 1970b, The coordination of visual and tactual input in infants, Perception and Psychophysics 8: 51–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bower, T. G. R., Broughton, J. M., and Moore, M. K., 1971, Development of the object concept as manifested in the tracking behavior of infants between seven and twenty weeks of age, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 11: 182–193.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Broussard, M. D., 1974, The infant’s conception of object permanence and his reactions to strangers, in “The Infant’s Reaction to Strangers” T. G. Decarie (ed.), International Universities Press, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Broussard, M. D., 1974, The infant’s conception of object permanence and his reactions to strangers, in “The Infant’s Reaction to Strangers” T. G. Decarie (ed.), International Universities Press, New York.Google Scholar
  20. Bruner, J. S., 1969, The growth and structure of skill, in “Motor Skills in Infancy” K. J. Connally (ed.), CIBA Foundation, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Bruner, J. S., 1973, Organization of early skilled action, Child Development 44: 1–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Brunet, O., et Lezine, I., 1965, “Le Développement psychologique de la première enfance,” Presses Universitaires de France, Paris.Google Scholar
  23. Butterworth, G., 1974, Object permanence during infancy, D. Phil. thesis, University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  24. Campbell, D. T., and Fiske, D., 1959, Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix, Psychological Bulletin 56: 81–105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Casati, I., and Lezine, I., 1968, Les étapes de l’intelligence sensori-motrice de l’enfant de la naissance à deux ans, Centre de Psychologie Appliquée, Paris.Google Scholar
  26. Charlesworth, W. R., 1966, Development of the object concept: A methodological study, paper presented at the meetings of the American Psychological Association, New York.Google Scholar
  27. Corman, H. H., and Escalona, S. K., 1969, Stages of sensorimotor development: A replication study, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 15: 351–361.Google Scholar
  28. Decarie, T. G., 1965, “Intelligence and Affectivity in Early Childhood,” International Universities Press, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Decarie, T. G., 1969, A study of the mental and emotional development of the thalidomide child, in “Determinants of Infant Behavior” (Vol. 4 ) B. M. Foss (ed.), Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  30. Decarie, T. G., 1973, Perceptual constancy and object permanency, paper presented as part of a symposium on Piagetian approaches to infant development, American Psychological Association, Montreal.Google Scholar
  31. Decarie, T. G., 1974, “The Infant’s Reaction to Strangers,” International Universities Press, New York.Google Scholar
  32. Evans, W. F., 1973, The Stage IV error in Piaget’s theory of object concept development: An investigation of the role of activity, Unpublished dissertation, University of Houston.Google Scholar
  33. Evans, W. F., and Gratch, G., 1972, The Stage IV error in Piaget’s theory of object concept development: Difficulties in object conceptualization or spatial localization?, Child Development 43: 682–688.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Flavell, J. H., 1971, The development of inferences about others, Draft of a paper presented at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Our Knowledge of Persons, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York.Google Scholar
  35. Fletcher, H. J., 1965, The delayed response problem, in “Behavior of nonhuman primates,” (Vol. 1 ) A. M. Schrier, H. F. Harlow, and F. Stollnitz (eds.), Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  36. Faiberg, S., Siegel, B. L., and Gibson, R., 1966, The role of sound in the search behavior of a blind infant, Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 21: 327–357.Google Scholar
  37. Freedman, D. A., Fox-Kolenda, B. J., Margileth, D. A., and Miller, D. H., 1969, The development of the use of sound as a guide to affective and cognitive behavior: A two phase process, Child Development 40: 1099–1105.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Gardner, J. K., 1971, The development of object identity in the first six months of human infancy, paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Minneapolis, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  39. Gibson, J. J., 1966, “The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems,” Houghton-Mifflin, New York.Google Scholar
  40. Ginsburg, H. J., and Wong, D. L., 1973, Enhancement of hidden object search in six month old infants presented with a continuously sounding hidden object, Developmental Psychology 9: 142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Goulet, J., 1974, The infant’s conception of casuality and his reactions to strangers, in “The Infant’s Reaction to Strangers” T. G. Decarie (ed.), International Universities Press, New York.Google Scholar
  42. Gratch, G., 1972, A study of the relative dominance of vision and touch in six-month old infants, Child Development 43: 615–623.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Gratch, G., 1975, Recent studies based on Piaget’s view of object concept development, in “Infant Perception” L. Cohen and P. Salapatek (eds.), Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  44. Gratch, G., and Landers, W. F., 1971, Stage IV of Piaget’s theory of infants’ object concepts, Child Development 42: 359–372.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Gratch, G., Appel, K. J., Evans, W. F., LeCompte, G. K., and Wright, N. A., 1974, Piaget’s Stage 4 object concept error: Evidence of forgetting or object conception?, Child Development 45: 71–77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Gruber, H. E., Girgus, J. S., and Banuazizi, A., 1971, The development of object permanence in the cat, Developmental Psychology 4: 9–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Harris, P. L., 1971, Examination and search in infants, British Journal of Psychology 62: 469–473.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Harris, P. L., 1974, Perseverative search at a visibly empty place by young infants, Journal of Experimental Psychology, 18: 535–542.Google Scholar
  49. Huttenlocher, J., 1974, The origins of language comprehension, in “Theories in cognitive psychology” R. L. Solso (ed.), Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Potomac, Md.Google Scholar
  50. Huttenlocher, J., 1975, The orogins of language comprehension, in “Theories in cognitive psychology” R. L. Solse (ed. ), Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  51. Inhelder, B., Lezine, I., Sindair, H., et Stambak, M., 1972, Les debute de la fonction semiotique, Archives de Psychologie 41 (163): 187–243.Google Scholar
  52. Kagan, J., 1972, Do infants think?, Scientific American 226: 74–82.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Landers, W F., 1971, The effect of differential experience on infants’ performance in a Piagetian Stage IV object-concept task, Developmental Psychology 5: 48–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. LeCompte, G. K., and Gratch, G., 1972, Violation of a rule as a method of diagnosing infants’ level of object concept, Child Development 43: 385–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lezine, I., Stambak, M., et Casati, I., 1969, “Les étapes de l’intelligence sensori-motrice,” Centre de psychologie appliquée, Paris.Google Scholar
  56. Lester, B. M., Kotelchuck, M., Spelke, E., Sellers, M. J., and Klein, R. E., 1974, Separation protest in Guatemalan infants, Developmental Psychology 10: 79–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Mead, G. H., 1938, “The Philosophy of the Act,” University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  58. Meltzoff, Al, 1972, Toward a structural developmental interpretation of separation protest, unpublished honors thesis, Department of Psychology, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  59. Michotte, A., 1955, Perception and cognition, Acta Psychologica 11: 69–91.Google Scholar
  60. Miller, D. G., Cohen, L., and Hill, K. A., 1970, A methodological investigation of Piaget’s theory of object concept development in the sensory motor period, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 2: 59–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Moore, M. K., 1969, A revision of Piaget’s theory of the development of object permanence: A study of infant search for absent objects, unpublished paper, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  62. Moore, M. K., 1973, The genesis of object permanence, paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  63. Moore, M. K., 1974, The genesis of object permanence, Chapter 1 of unpublished dissertation, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  64. Munn, N. L., 1955, “The Evolution and Growth of Behavior,” Houghton-Mifflin, Boston.Google Scholar
  65. Nelson, K. E., 1971, Accommodation of visual tracking patterns in human infants to object movement patterns, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 12: 182–196.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Piaget, J., 1952, “The Origins of Intelligence in Children,” Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  67. Piaget, J., 1954, “The Construction of Reality in the Child,” Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  68. Piaget, J., 1969, “The Mechanisms of Perception,” Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  69. Roberts, G., and Black, K. N., 1972, The effect of naming and object permanence on toy preferences, Child Development 43: 858–868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Saal, D., 1974, A study of the development of object concept in infancy by varying the degree of discrepancy between the disappearing and reappearing object, unpublished dissertation proposal, University of Houston.Google Scholar
  71. Scarr, S., and Salapatek, P., 1970, Patterns of fear development during infancy, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 16: 53–90.Google Scholar
  72. Schaffer, H. R., 1971, “The Growth of Sociability,” Penguin, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  73. Schaffer, H. R., Greenwood, A., and Parry, M. H., 1972, The onset of wariness, Child Development 43: 165–175.Google Scholar
  74. Schofield, L., and Uzgiris, I. C., 1969, Examining behavior and the development of the concept of the object, paper presented at the meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Santa Monica, California.Google Scholar
  75. Serifica, P. C., and Uzgiris, I. C., 1971, Infant-mother relationship and object concept, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  76. Shaffran, R., 1974, Modes of approach and the infant’s reaction to the stranger, in “The Infant’s Reaction to Strangers” T. G. Decarie (ed.), International Universities Press, New York.Google Scholar
  77. Smille, D., 1972, Piaget’s constructionist theory, Human Development 15: 171–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Uzgiris, I. C., 1973, Patterns of cognitive development in infancy, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 19: 181–204.Google Scholar
  79. Uzgiris, I. C., and Hunt, J. McV., 1974, “Assessment in Infancy, Ordinal Scales of Psychological Development,” University of Illinois Press, Urbana.Google Scholar
  80. Vaughter, R. M., Smotherman, W., and Ordy, J. M., 1972, Development of object permanence in the infant squirrel monkey, Developmental Psychology 7: 34–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wise, K. L., Wise, L. A., and Zimmerman, R. R., 1974, Piagetian object permanence in the infant Rhesus monkey, Developmental Psychology 10: 429–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Gratch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations