Piaget and Method

Bond, Trevor, and Tryphon, Anastasia (2009) Piaget and Method. In: Müller, Ulrich, Carpendale , Jeremy I.M., and Smith, Leslie, (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Piaget. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 171-199.

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Piaget's method of data collection has always appeared quite unorthodox to psychologists raised on the Anglophone diet of standardized, objective, and experimental scientific method where results were routinely presented following some sort of routine statistical analyses. Piaget's books revealed him as merely chatting to few children - mainly his own and apparently, just a few others - about the moon, about their drawings of bicycles, and most famously, how skinny glasses held more juice than fat ones did. Interesting for sure - but hardly replicable, scientific psychological experiments: The questions changed, the procedures changed, and none of the results showed means and standard deviations. Considering the number of published papers and books, we remain surprised by the small space Piaget gave to explaining his method. Although the hundreds of protocol extracts, meant to illustrate his theory, correspond to almost half of the pages of each published volume, the mention of any detailed data collection, setting, or precise method eventually used in the reported investigations is rare and generally very vague: "You place in front of the child a certain number of flowers _ .. "; " ... it is useful . .. to have the child draw a picture ... " (see Tryphon, 2004-). This lack of clarity has given rise to many criticisms of Genevan researchers' "bad habits," such as non rigorous experimental conditions, small, non representative samples, and lack of quantitative analyses (Flavell, I963).

Item ID: 9913
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-521-89858-4
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Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2010 00:56
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 60%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology @ 40%
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