Unlocking the Mystery: Infants’ Innate Understanding of Gravity & Support Relations

What happened in the Physical Knowledge: Support Relations & Gravity (Baillargeon) study?

[Idea is that there is not “all or nothing” development] Possibilities in Gravity – 3 month olds look longer at (a)5 month olds look longer at (b), but not 3 month olds [because there are differences in the quality]6.5 month olds look longer at (c), but 3/5 mo. Olds don’t 12.5 month olds look longer at (d) b/c they would expect object on gray box to fall, any younger would not be surprised by this because they have yet to understand complexity of gravity.

In the Physical Knowledge: Support Relations & Gravity study, conducted by Renee Baillargeon, infants as young as three and a half months of age were shown a screen on which a block was moving back and forth on a track. In one condition, the block was shown to move under a plank of wood that was elevated on one end, and in another condition, the block was shown to be blocked by the plank of wood. The study found that infants as young as three-and-a-half months were able to tell the difference between the two conditions and expected the block to continue moving when it was blocked by the plank of wood. This suggests that infants have an innate understanding of gravity and support relations, even before they are able to engage in verbal reasoning or have any previous experience with these concepts.

More Answers:

The Power of Theory: Understanding Social Phenomena through a Framework of Empirical Evidence
Mastering Quantitative Reasoning in Gravity Studies: Techniques and Importance
Uncovering the Fundamental Principles of Gravity: A Qualitative Reasoning Study

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