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The Psychology of Younger Siblings

Ms Wenlock’s Year 9 Psychology students have been studying Child Psychology, using their younger siblings to test out the theories of renowned Swiss clinical psychologist, Jean Piaget.

Jean Piaget was one of the greatest minds in the field of developmental psychology and epistemology. According to Piaget, “It is with children that we have the best chance of studying the development of logical knowledge, mathematical knowledge, physical knowledge, and so forth.”

With this in mind, Ms Wenlock’s Year 9 Psychology students decided to test out some of Piaget’s theories at home. Ms Wenlock said, “Piaget proposed that children develop their cognitive skills through various stages, so what better way to learn about this than to use younger siblings as our ‘guinea pigs’?"

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Ms Wenlock continued, “Grace and Belle managed to wrangle their siblings into our Zoom and we conducted some experiments to test out their cognitive skills (with parental permission, of course!). We tried to see if baby Alana was able to demonstrate the accomplishment of Object Permanence, by having Chloe hide an object to see whether Alana would search for it, even though it had 'disappeared.' She was very interested in the keys, wherever Chloe happened to place them. Belle then tested out her two siblings to see if they had reached the milestone of Conservation of Volume. She poured a coloured liquid into different shaped glasses to see whether the children still understood that the same volume of liquid was present, even when it appeared in different glasses. Both siblings confidently answered that of course they were the same!”

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Ms Wenlock said, “Our research participants were very much appreciated, helping to enliven our studies, and we look forward to conducting more practical work back at school once the restrictions ease.”

Bravo Year 9 and thank you siblings!