The purpose of the present study was to investigate the synthesized study on Piaget's conservation. To examine the above purpose, the three experiments were conducted. 1) To clarify the process of acquisition of conservation tasks and the correlation of them.(Experiment I: Conservation Test) 2) To check the accelerative extent of conservation which was acquired by the training through the cognitive conflict trials.(Experiment II: Training of Conservation) 3) In order to compare the concept of conservation acquired by training and that of the natural condition, the extent of the resistance to extinction was examined.(Experiment III: Extinction of Conservation) Methods: Experiment I, 286 children (3: 6-to-8: 5-years old) were given 37 tests, which consisted of seven kinds of conservation tasks, i. e. substance, liquid, number, weight, length, area 1 and area 2. Experiment II, 129 non-conservers were given cognitive conflict by the operation of addition, subtraction and transformation. Namely, after the operation of addition or subtraction, the materials were transformed, and by the operation of the transformation, big material seemed small, and small one seemed big. In the training were included 37 tests which consisted of six kinds of conservation tasks, and each test was repeated twice. To check the effect of the training, a posttest which was same as Experiment I was administered. Experiment III, 96 conservers, in which two kinds of conservers were included ; one by training and the other by the natural condition, were tested the extinction of conservation consisted of number, weight, length and area.(total test numbers were 16) After the extinction, Ss were given 15 conservation tests that were selected from the Experi ment I. Results: 1) In Experiment I, conservation of substance, liquid, number and length was mastered by the age of eight, and the conservation of weight came next. The conservation of area appeared a year later, The results showed that seven kinds of conservations were attained almost at the same period. This finding indicates that once the reversible operation is completed, it can be applied to the other conservation tests. 2) The correlation coefficients among seven conservation tasks were very high. Ss who get a full mark in one conservation test also get high marks for other tests. 3) According to the results of two kinds of factor analysis, i. e. the principal axis method and the varimax method, it was shown that a common factor (conservation factor) was extracted. Conservation of area and weight showed somewhat different components compared with other conservation tasks. 4) The training of conservation gave positive effects on children. 5) In the Experiment III, almost all the Ss indicated resistance to extinction. From this, the concept of conservation acquired by training was essentially the same quality as that of acquired naturally.
The present study aimed at analyzing the performance of Ss at various age levels in a two-choice task, and comparing these findings with those of other investigators who have utilized analogous tasks. 126 Ss, who were 4, 6, 10 or 20 years old, participated in the experiment. A procedure like Weir-type (1964) probabilistic experiment was undertaken. Two different reinforcement percentages for the payoff knob were used, 70% and 100%. Then on a 70% task a marble was delivered on 70 %oftheSs, choices6fthepayoffknob, andthen the 100% task was analogous to a so-called concept attainment task. The main point, which was different from the previous probabilistic problem-solving experiment, was the shift learning design employed. Hence initial payoff associated with a knob in the first session switched to the other knob in the second session just after reaching the problemsolving criterion. Considering both shift design and reinforcement percentages, three conditions were constructed as follows (1) C-1: 100%task (1st session) →70% task (2nd session). (2) C-2: 70% task (1st session) →70% task (2nd session). (3) C-3: 70% task (1st session) →100% task (2nd session). Then authors intended (1) to examine the previously affirmed findings such as U shaped or inverted U shaped relationship between age and some dependent variables by using other variables, and (2) to investigate effects of reinforcement shift on the block-1 of the second session, and then (3) to suggest a possibility of an alternative of view. Obtained results were as follows; (1) In comparison with adults and younger children, middle aged Ss found it significantly difficult to achibve the 70% task in the first session (TABLE 1). (2) In line with (1), middle aged Ss were significantly slow to attain the problem-solving crite rion (TABLE 2). (3) Trend analysis affirmed an inverted U shaped relationship between age and number of trials to the criterion in the first session (TABLE 3 and 4). (4) Mean % correct responses made during the block-5 in the second session were lower in middle aged Ss than in adults and younger children. Trend analysis for this dependent variable showed a U shaped relationship between age and mean % correct responses (TABLE 6, 7 and 8). (5) Middle aged Ss made more simple pattern responses during the second session (TABLE 9). (6) In every condition, younger children made quite a few correct responses and pattern responses during the block-1, then showed a strong tendency of perseverative responses to the initially reinforced position (TABLE 10 and 11, Fig. 1). Most of the findings were parallel with those of Weir (1964). However the authors' concern is the fact that younger children showed not only reward maximization, but also strong perseverative response tendency in the initial block of the 2nd session. Hence in order to integrate these somewhat inconsistent results, the authors attempted to introduce mathematical set theory and then discuss previous findings and the present results in terms of following hypotheses: (1) Younger children could attend to the dominant cue set associated with reinforcement, but neglect the other cues (i, e., complementary set) and the mutually exclusive rule between these cue sets.(2) Instead, adults and older children could logically operate these cue sets and the set relation defined by set theory (e. g., exclusion rule between set and complementary set.)
I. I. This study consists of two experiments. In the first part, the author tries to reveal the presence of a certain sequence in the development of thinking faculty of preschool children: the process of the shift from visual-motor thinking to visual-figurative and verbal thinking. In the second part, comparing “action level” with “outer speech”, the author studies the effect of the teaching of “weight” as continuous quantity on the basis of the “theory of the step form of intellectual action” by p. Galperin. II. Conclusion: The children, in the experimental groups showed higher results than those in control groups, but there was no distinct difference among the experimental groups. It seems that the most effective and appropriate method in teaching children who are in their later half of five years is that adopting “action level” and “outer speech” based on the “theory of step form of intellectual action”. The reason is that during this period of life children experience the shift from visual-motor thinking to viival-figurative, and then, to verbal thinking. And this acquisition is completed when the higher types of orientation toward the conditions of the questions and the communication with language are formed in their mental ability.