Analysis of Conservation Task in Cognitive Development

  • 08 Pages
  • Published On: 20-12-2023

Jean Piaget is one of the legends of national culture, who has first approached systematic study development in acquiring an understanding of children. He made a major revelation in the psychology sector in the late 20th century. Piaget’s theory essentially works with a certain age group and shows interest early. In this study, a highlight is given on the specific skills that are learned by the children and through Piaget's theory of conservation. This is associated with a preoperational child that is yet to be converted to a concrete stage. Cognitive learning along with egocentricity and object permanence is identified as essential components. In this case, Piaget’s claims of knowledge not being emerged from sensory experience are highlighted within a component of the conservation task (Watanabe, 2017). Intellectual development is controlled from differential approaches of learning and organizing development at a core level.

As per Piaget's thoughts, these aspects are going to be analyzed in this context. Piaget's theory is associated with classification of object similarities and the emergence of elementary logical abilities. Advanced reasoning and language representation are also a part of this experiment to be conducted (YENİKALAYCI, Çelikler, and Aksan, 2018). Piaget made assumptions that children become more sophisticated with age and their learning and understanding are indulged with appropriate training on differentiation of right and wrong. This experiment is associated with Piaget's learning theory of conservation task where two-girl child has taken part in being IQ tested. According to Piaget, this conservation task tests a child's ability to see that some properties are invariant even after the main object is gone through a physical transformation. Children's ability to understand conservation is associated with weakness management in the preoperational stage before going to the concrete stage.


Piaget’s claims about children’s learning and understanding at different ages are associated with the sensorimotor stage that is from birth to 2 years. A preoperational stage that is starting from the age 2 to 7 is assessed. Concrete operational stage starting from ages 7 to 11 (Viarouge, Houdé, and Borst, 2019). Piaget claims that cognitive theory is at the center of human learning and transformation is analyzed to the core.

In this research, a hypothesis can be undertaken that summarizes the fact whether a four-year-old is having enough knowledge to differentiate conservation of liquids or not. The rationale of this research claims to have a convergence of children's learning ability. There is a specific analysis undertaken on questioning the children capabilities of cognitive learning theory at a later stage. Rational thinking and arranging core components of conservation tasks have been aligned in this context.


Methodology in this research is aligned with analyzing every single participant. Participants in the object permanence concept are of age 1-2 years of a girl child. However, in other aspects, there are socio-economic observations seen. In experiments of egocentrism, the kids were approximately 4 years old and they were male. There is another experiment that is done with 2 girl children of age between 4-5 years which is identified as a conservation task. However, in this research, a specific alignment is done with participants of age group 4-5 years and their actions are noticed. Piaget’s experiment can also be conducted using one participant. In this chosen theory of conservation, there is primary qualitative research performed (Oogarah-Pratap, Bholoa, and Ramma, 2020). In each case, participants performed individually and answered the questions asked. At first, they were arranged in a relaxed sitting environment. There was also no influence done on participants as they were answering. Each participant's consent was taken before starting this experiment. This method is associated with conservation of length and items. Parents' consent was also taken actively. There were identity and anonymity perseverance seen in this ethical procedure of identifying Piaget's theory effectiveness.

These participants, who are 2 girls of age group 4-5 years belong to quite a nice family and their reactions are recorded on camera. Moreover, the identity of the child is protected as no name is revealed in this process. Consent letter from parents is one of the most ethical things that is preserved in this experience of conservation task. It was also a matter of concern to see whether there is any sort of discomfort felt by participants, as they are merely kids. Both children were informed regarding this process. Replication of process is associated with clear emergence of stages starting from step A of making the children comfortably sit and enjoy the setup. In step B, they will be asked to perform in tests that are settled at their level, and object properties are identified as core concepts. There is systematic indulgence in the management of lists of variants. Materials used in this case were biscuits for second participants. She was asked whether there was equal distribution done with biscuits or not (Ngo, and Trang, 2019). After that, some coins were taken and it was aligned in a particular order to ask the child whether she sees it in the same order or not. Finally, the experiment continued with two glasses of liquid that was divided equally, then one glass was transferred to a taller glass to see the reaction of the kid.


Results are quite impressive and there are several alignments of work seen to gain maximum trust for children. Clear accounts of child responses can be recorded in terms of how they react to the experiment. First girl had responded that glasses were filled in equal parts initially. After the second glass liquid was transferred to the tall glass, the girl found out that the taller glass contained more liquid. Hence, there are clear indications that in child view incompetency is observed. They found out that shorter height glass is containing less liquid than the taller one. Though there was no change in quantity enforced, in the child’s view clear inequality was seen. However, it is observed that the initial reaction of glass containing liquid is the same for the view of children (Babakr, Mohamedamin, and Kakamad, 2019). After a small modification, they are unable to find out the conservation task results. It was neither different nor in size and color. Children sometimes cannot differentiate between these types of conservation tasks. Pouring content from one place to another does not change the amount. It completely agrees with the theory presented by Piaget in this context.


At this point, it can be explained that the theory that was attempted to test is successfully established. The results were up to the mark and it confirmed the theory that has been taken into account for the test. The challenges are associated with creating a proper balance of conservation theory in terms of accessed results (Al-Hamouri, and Ababneh, 2019). Piaget's claims are aligned with the significant context of identifying results in action and managing appropriate work breakdown structure. Understanding liquid conservation at the age of 4 is not a matter of joke and it will appropriately indulge in quality performance management of a child. Each objective of this research is hence satisfied, the hypothesis is also clearly achieved within the results.

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Findings include that one of the girls was giving results of incompetency in identification of liquids in both glasses. A small change in a glass of tall and short liquid has affected the vision of children of 4 years. The theory of conservation states that children that are identified in the preoperational stage, need to overcome their weakness. It associates with children’s inability to differentiate between the specific components and cultural diversity. Children across different countries and different backgrounds are suffering from this dilemma. Children completely satisfied the theory as they were in a state of conditioning and needed more nurturing. Once the content of one glass is poured into another glass, the children might think that the product has become larger. Similarly, in the second test with the second participant, placing each of the coins in different directions and making the chain of coins look lengthy has confused the child. She initially responded that the chain of coins is same in length. However, just a bit of alignment change made her think that another chain was lengthy. Moreover, in the final test the kid reacted differently. The test was conducted by giving only biscuits to the kid and keeping the rest two for the test arranger (Ahmad, Tabassum, and Farooq, 2018). At this stage, the child reacted that there was no equal distribution. Now finally, the test conductor had deviated the kid's biscuit into two parts, the kid was satisfied that she had two biscuits like the test conductor. This clearly shows inability of identifying the process of equal distribution and conservation.

In this paper, a complete issue of generating sustainable kids understanding. There are key issues highlighted in the study of kid’s inability to differentiate between two glasses of liquid with a taller and shorter range. All implications applied are identified as true to the context and results are also linked with theory of conservation in this case.



Ahmad, A., Tabassum, R. and Farooq, R.A., 2018. Comparison of Primary School Boys and Girls on Number Conservation Ability. Journal of Educational Research (1027-9776), 21(1).

Al-Hamouri, F.A. and Ababneh, M., 2019. The Effect of Gender, Age and Intelligence in the Conservation Ability. International Journal of Research in Education and Psychology, 7(01), pp.81-98.

Babakr, Z.H., Mohamedamin, P. and Kakamad, K., 2019. Piaget's Cognitive Developmental Theory: Critical Review. Education Quarterly Reviews, 2(3), pp.517-524.


Oogarah-Pratap, B., Bholoa, A. and Ramma, Y., 2020. Stage Theory of Cognitive Development—Jean Piaget. In Science Education in Theory and Practice (pp. 133-148). Springer, Cham.

Viarouge, A., Houdé, O. and Borst, G., 2019. The progressive 6-year-old conserver: Numerical saliency and sensitivity as core mechanisms of numerical abstraction in a Piaget-like estimation task. Cognition, 190, pp.137-142.

Watanabe, N., 2017. Accelerated cognitive development—Piaget’s conservation concept. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 7(2), pp.68-74.


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