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Note on Conservation: Methodological and Definitional Considerations

Gerald E. Gruen
Child Development
Vol. 37, No. 4 (Dec., 1966), pp. 977-983
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1126619
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1126619
Page Count: 7
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Note on Conservation: Methodological and Definitional Considerations
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Abstract

Differences in the procedures that Bruner and Smedslund have employed to study conservation are examined. Attention is focused primarily on the criteria that each has used to assess the presence or absence of conservation. Children's responses to the conservation question taken from a previous study were classified as conserving or nonconserving according to both Bruner's and Smedslund's procedures. Significantly more responses were classified as conserving when Bruner's criteria were used than when Smedslund's criteria were used. The differences in procedure and results are interpreted as reflecting a basic disagreement as to the nature of the psychological processes that underlie conservation.

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