Select your language

Suggested languages for you:
Log In Start studying!
StudySmarter - The all-in-one study app.
4.8 • +11k Ratings
More than 3 Million Downloads
Free
|
|

All-in-one learning app

  • Flashcards
  • NotesNotes
  • ExplanationsExplanations
  • Study Planner
  • Textbook solutions
Start studying

McGarrigle and Donaldson Naughty Teddy

Save Save
Print Print
Edit Edit
Sign up to use all features for free. Sign up now
McGarrigle and Donaldson Naughty Teddy

From a young age, children go through a series of developmental changes that affect their ability to understand reality. A game of peek-a-boo, for instance, challenges object permanence. Various tests have been developed to examine these developmental changes, another example being a child's ability to understand how liquid from a tall container poured into a small but wide container contains the same amount of liquid.

  • Whilst learning about the McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study we will discuss the McGarrigle and Donaldson naughty teddy study aim
  • Following this, we will delve into the McGarrigle and Donaldson naughty teddy study method
  • Finally, we will discuss the McGarrigle and Donaldson naughty teddy study results, and to finish off, we will discuss the McGarrigle and Donaldson naughty teddy study evaluation.

Piaget is a famous researcher that is widely known for his theories in developmental psychology, and he proposed the theory of cognitive development. McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy experiment aimed to investigate the ideas put forwards by Piaget, specifically the concrete operational stage in children younger than 7 years old, as Piaget originally proposed.

  • The theory of cognitive development suggests that mental development in children happens in four stages:
    • Sensorimotor (0-2 years)
    • Preoperational stage (2-7 years)
    • Concrete operational stage (7-11 years)
    • Formal operational stage (11+ years)

The concrete operational stage is when children begin to understand conservation.

Conservation

The concept of conservation is vital to understanding the aim of McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy study. As we mentioned above, the concrete operational stage is where children can do conservation tasks.

Conservation is the ability to understand that the quantity of something can remain the same even when its appearance changes.

There are different ways that children's ability to understand conservation can be measured:

  • Volume - if someone puts the same amount of water from a short, wide glass into a taller, thin glass. The child lacking abilities to understand conservation will think that the tall, thin glass contains more water.
  • Shape - if a ball of play-doh is flattened, a child lacking conservation skills may think that there is less play-doh.

McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy experiment

In Piaget's theory of cognitive development, it was proposed that children aged 7-11 years old develop conservation skills.

Mcgarrigle and donaldson naughty teddy study aim

McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy study aimed to identify if children younger than what Piaget proposed develop conservation skills.

The study also aimed to identify if deliberately changing the position of sweets affected conservation skills.

For instance, if the changes were purposeful or accidental.

McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy study method

The study used an experimental, repeated measures design that was carried out in a lab setting. The study was carried out on 80 children from Edinburgh aged between four years and two months to six years and three months.

A repeated measures design is when the same participants take part in all of the conditions of the experiment.

There were two conditions in the experiment.

Condition 1 - accidental counter changes

The accidental condition involved the researcher placing two rows of counters that had the same number of counters that were equally spaced. The researchers then asked the participants if there was an equal number of counters in each row.

The researcher then enacted a scenario in front of the participants in which a hand puppet, a naughty teddy bear, escaped his area and messed up the organisation of one of the rows of counters. What's important to note is that both counters had equal numbers of counters, one just was more spaced out to make the row look longer and potentially make children think it had more counters. The researcher then told the 'naughty teddy' off.

The final step of the accidental condition was for the researchers to ask participants if there was the same number of counters in each row after the scenario had been enacted.

McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study, a teddy bear, StudySmarterIn McGarrigle and Donaldson's study, a naughty teddy bear messed up the row of counters, flaticon.com/premium-icon

Condition 2 - intentional counter changes

In the intentional condition, similar to the other condition equal numbers of counters were equally spaced out in two rows. The researcher then asked the participants if there was an equal number of counters in each row.

Whilst the child was watching the researcher intentionally moved the counters in one row to be more spaced out (there was still an equal amount of counters in both rows). The researcher then asked the participants if there was an equal number of counters.

McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study, a researcher measuring glasses, StudySmarterThe researchers involved in McGarrigle and Donaldson manipulated materials to affect conservation understanding, flaticon.com/premium-icon

String experiment

Another part of the experiment was the string condition. Participants were shown two equal-length strings (both ten inches) and asked if they were of equal sizes.

One of the strings was moved into a moon shape position (the length remained the same) participants were asked again if the strings were the same size. In the second condition, one string was ten inches and the other was eight inches. The researcher asked participants if both strings were of equal sizes.

McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy study results

The results indicated that:

  • Primary school children were more accurate than nursery school children at conserving in both the intentional and accidental conditions.

This suggests that conservation skills develop and get better with age. Piaget also argued that conservation skills improve with age.

  • Intentional versus accidental changes, when using four out of four correct judgements made as a criterion:
    • Intentional = 13 children answered correctly that there was an equal amount of counters in both rows. Thus, 13 children successfully conserved when the transformation was intentional.
    • Accidental = 50 children answered correctly that there was an equal amount of counters in both rows. Thus, 50 children successfully conserved when the transformation was accidental.

This suggests that children have better conservation skills when the changes are accidental rather than intentional.

  • Children in the accidental condition (string moved to moon shape position) were more accurate at identifying the length of the string than in the intentional condition (unequal string lengths).

Conclusion

From the research findings of McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study, it can be concluded that children can conserve at an earlier age than Piaget suggested. Children show these skills as young as four years and two months whereas Piaget suggested that it develops at seven+ years.

McGarrigle and Donaldson naughty teddy study evaluation

Let's now discuss the strength and limitations of McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy study.

Strengths

The strengths of the research are:

  • Practical applications - conservation skills have been linked to improvements in learning and mathematical skills;
    • From these results, it can be suggested that caregivers and teachers do conservation tasks with younger children and this may help and improve mental development.
  • Research design:
    • repeated-measures design - as the same participants are tested in both conditions the researcher does not need to consider variability between participants affecting the results. This suggests that the research has high internal validity.
    • experimental design - the researcher has control over the experiment and so can prevent confounding and extraneous factors such as noise affecting the experiment. This also suggests that the study has high internal validity.

Limitations

The limitations of the research are:

  • The study is ethnocentric - as the study was carried out on British students, the results may not be generalisable to children in other countries.
  • Differences between Piaget's and McGarrigle and Donaldson's results suggest low reliability. Piaget's research indicated that children aged 2-7 did not have conservation skills but aged 7+ children did. Both studies had different procedures and so it is difficult to establish which findings are correct
  • The study did not measure domain-specific conservative skills. Identifying changes in the number of counters may be easier than identifying changes in the volume or shape of objects. This suggests the study is reductionist as it does not take into account the various types of ways to measure conservation. Therefore, the results may be different when all of these are considered.

Piaget measured conservation by asking children to answer if there were changes in the volume of liquid in a glass. This may explain why both researchers found different results.


McGarrigle and Donaldson Naughty Teddy - Key takeaways

  • Conservation is the ability of children being able to understand that the quantity of something can remain the same even when its appearance changes. According to Piaget, this skill develops during the concrete operational stage.
  • McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy study aimed to identify if children younger than what Piaget proposed, develop conservation skills.
  • There were two conditions in the experiment:
    1. accidental - a naughty teddy bear messed up the rows of counters
    2. intentional - the researcher intentionally moved the counters around
      • in both conditions, participants were asked if there were the same number of counters in each row.
  • Another part of the experiment involved identifying if participants could identify if two strings of equal sizes were the same when moved into a moon shape and if two unequal sizes strings were the same size.
  • Children were more accurate in the accidental rather than intentional conditions at conserving.
  • McGarrigle and Donaldson Naughty Teddy concluded that children can conserve at an earlier age than Piaget suggested.

Frequently Asked Questions about McGarrigle and Donaldson Naughty Teddy

From the naughty teddy study, it was found that:

  • children can develop conservation skills as early as 4 years and 2 months old
  • children have better conservation skills when the conservation task is accidental rather than intentional.

McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy study aimed to identify if children younger than what Piaget proposed develop conservation skills. They did this by analysing conservation skills in children in response to accidental (using a teddy) and intentional material changes (counters and strings).


The naughty teddy study was carried out by McGarrigle and Donaldson in 1974. The study measured conservation skills in young children, based on the theory proposed by Piaget.

McGarrigle and Donaldson did the naughty teddy experiment to see if children develop conservation skills earlier than Piaget proposed (7-11 years old).

McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy study aimed to identify if children younger than what Piaget proposed, develop conservation skills. In addition, the study aimed to identify if intentionally or accidentally changing the position of counters affected conservation skills. 

Final McGarrigle and Donaldson Naughty Teddy Quiz

Question

According to Piaget's cognitive development theory in what stage does conservation develop? 

Show answer

Answer

Sensorimotor stage

Show question

Question

What is conservation? 

Show answer

Answer

Conservation is the ability to understand that the quantity of something can remain the same even when its appearance changes. 

Show question

Question

What type of development does Piaget's cognitive theory of development measure? 

Show answer

Answer

Mental development 

Show question

Question

In what year did McGarrigle and Donaldson do the naughty teddy experiment?

Show answer

Answer

The McGarrigle and Donaldson naughty teddy experiment was done in 1974. 

Show question

Question

What type of research design did McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy experiment use? 

Show answer

Answer

The McGarrigle and Donaldson naughty teddy experiment used an experimental, repeated measures design that was carried out in a lab setting.

Show question

Question

How many participants were recruited in McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy experiment?

Show answer

Answer

McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy experiment recruited 80 children aged between 4 years and 2 months to 6 years and 10 months old.

Show question

Question

Describe the two conditions used in McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy experiment.

Show answer

Answer

The procedure of McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy experiment was:

  • rows of counters were placed on a table in front of participants  
    1. in the accidental condition, a naughty teddy accidentally moved the distance between one row of counters
    2. in the intentional condition, the researcher intentionally moved the distance between counters 

Show question

Question

Which of the following moved the counters in the accidental condition of  McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study?

Show answer

Answer

Teddy bear

Show question

Question

In which condition did children show better conservation skills in McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study? 

Show answer

Answer

Accidental 

Show question

Question

Did older children show better conservation skills in McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study? 

Show answer

Answer

Yes

Show question

Question

Did McGarrigle and Donaldson support Piaget's theory that conservation skills improve with age?  

Show answer

Answer

Yes 

Show question

Question

How did McGarrigle and Donaldson's naughty teddy experiment findings differ from Piaget's? 

Show answer

Answer

From the research findings of McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study, it can be concluded that children can conserve at an earlier age than Piaget suggested. Children show these skills as young as 4 years and 2 months whereas Piaget suggested that it develops at 7+ years. 

Show question

Question

What are the strengths of McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study?

Show answer

Answer

The strengths of McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study are:

  • it has practical applications 
  • the research design is high in internal validity 

Show question

Question

What are the weaknesses of McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study?


Show answer

Answer

The weaknesses of McGarrigle and Donaldson's 'naughty teddy' study are:

  • the study was ethnocentric 
  • the study has low reliability 
  • the study did not measure domain-specific conservation skills 

Show question

Question

What is the naughty teddy study in psychology? 

Show answer

Answer

The naughty teddy study was carried out by McGarrigle and Donaldson in 1974. The study was done to measure conservation skills in young children. 

Show question

Question

What was the aim of the Naughty Teddy study?


Show answer

Answer

The naughty teddy study aimed to:

  1. identify if children younger than what Piaget proposed, develop conservation skills
  2. identify if intentionally or accidentally changing the position of counters affected conservation skills. 

Show question

Question

What are potential reasons why the results differed between Piaget's and McGarrigle and Donaldson's results?

Show answer

Answer

The results between Piaget and McGarrigle and Donaldson may be different because they measured different aspects of conservation. Piaget asked participants if there were differences in volume. Whereas McGarrigle and Donaldson asked if there were the same number of counters. 

Show question

Question

At what age did Piaget suggest that conservation skills develop? 

Show answer

Answer

Piaget suggested that conservation skills develop between 7-11 years old. 

Show question

60%

of the users don't pass the McGarrigle and Donaldson Naughty Teddy quiz! Will you pass the quiz?

Start Quiz

Discover the right content for your subjects

No need to cheat if you have everything you need to succeed! Packed into one app!

Study Plan

Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.

Quizzes

Test your knowledge with gamified quizzes.

Flashcards

Create and find flashcards in record time.

Notes

Create beautiful notes faster than ever before.

Study Sets

Have all your study materials in one place.

Documents

Upload unlimited documents and save them online.

Study Analytics

Identify your study strength and weaknesses.

Weekly Goals

Set individual study goals and earn points reaching them.

Smart Reminders

Stop procrastinating with our study reminders.

Rewards

Earn points, unlock badges and level up while studying.

Magic Marker

Create flashcards in notes completely automatically.

Smart Formatting

Create the most beautiful study materials using our templates.

Just Signed up?

Yes
No, I'll do it now

Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.