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Jean Piaget and cognitive development

Three Mountains Task has been devised by Jean Piaget, the Swiss developmental psychologist who worked in the 1950s and 1960s. Piaget developed a theory of developmental psychology that was founded on the notion of cognitive development. As per his thesis, the process of cognitive growth occurred in four phases. The sensorimotor, concrete operational, preoperational, and Formal Operational Phases were identified as the steps to be completed in each of the four stages (Caldeira & Carvalho, 2021). Developed by Piaget to determine if a kid's thinking constituted egocentric, Three Mountain Problem was another useful predictor as to whether child was in preoperational or operational stages of cognitive development at time of the test.

Piaget's goal in investigating Three Mountain Problem was to determine whether or not children's thinking was egocentric. The initial arrangement for the job consisted of the following: the youngster is seated at the table next to which is displayed a model of the three mountains. Mountains varied in size and shape, and they were distinguished by distinctive identifiers (one mountain consist of snow; one constitutes of red cross on the top; one constituted hut on the top). The kid was given the opportunity to do a 360-degree surveillance of model (Descloux & Maurer, 2020). Following a thorough examination of model, a doll is put at various vantage points in relation to the kid, and the youngster is shown a total of ten images. The youngster is tasked with choosing which of the ten images best depicts the doll's point of view. It was decided to use this assignment to test children of various ages in order to discover the age during which the children start to "decentre," or to take on the viewpoint of others.

A three-dimensional scene is shown to the kid in Borke's (1975) test of egocentrism, in which the child is provided with two similar models of scene (a variety of scenarios were utilised, including varied configurations of toy people as well as animals and also a mountain model comparable to Piaget as well as Inhelder's). One of models was fixed on a turntable, making it easy for the youngster to spin it in any direction. It is recommended that a doll be introduced after a practise session in which the child becomes familiar with both the materials and the concept of seeing things from some other person's perspective (in study by Borke, character Grover from the 'Sesame Street' was used because it was the programme with which children were familiar) (Marcus, 2016). Using the Grover doll as a guide, the kid was instructed to turn the other model around until it had the same perspective of model as he characters Grover would have had if he or she were standing in front of the model. Borke (1975) discovered that when utilising 'mountains' model, 3-year-old were picked the proper perspective 42 percent of the time, while four-year-old were selected with correct view 67 percent of time. With alternative displays, the accuracy of the three-year-old climbed to 80 percent, while that of four-year-old increased to 93 percent.

Hughes investigated his hypotheses on egocentrism using a model of two crossing walls, a doll of a young kid, as well as two 'policeman' dolls, among other things. A police officer is put somewhere in model to acquaint the kid with the assignment, and the youngster is instructed to conceal the boy in a location where the officer will not be able to see him (walls were too high for policeman to watch over) (Gromova & Alimbekov, 2015). If the youngster makes any errors, these have been pointed out to him or her, and child is given the opportunity to try again. In actual test, second police officer is added, and the youngster is instructed to conceal the doll in such a way that none of the officers can watch him. Hughes discovered that 90 percent of time, the pre-school children correctly identified a suitable hiding site for boy. Even youngest children in group (3 12 – 4 years old) were able to correctly answer the question 88 percent of the time.  

References

Caldeira, T., & Carvalho, C. (2021, March). Rethinking Piaget Formal Operational Stage using Robotics for Training. In 2021 IEEE World Conference on Engineering Education (EDUNINE) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Descloux, V., & Maurer, R. (2020). Perspective taking to assess topographical disorientation: Group study and preliminary normative data. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 27(3), 199-218.

Gromova, C. R., & Alimbekov, A. (2015). Egocentrism and Development of Students' Identity (On the Example of Studying of Future Teachers). International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 10(4), 571-578.

Marcus, J. M. (2016). The Effects of Adult Perspective-Taking on the Elementary Principal (Doctoral dissertation, Lesley University).

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