British Journal of Psychology

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Volume 60 Issue 2 (May 1969), Pages 149-285

REGISTRATION OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A PHYSICAL SYSTEM: A STUDY OF PRE‐ADOLESCENT CAPABILITIES (pages 251-260)

Task‐analysis techniques (Gagné, 1962, 1967) were used to generate hypotheses about the order of difficulty of tasks involving a sonometer, a physical system in which the pitch of a note is reciprocally dependent on the length and tension of a vibrating string. Predictions relating task performance to level of mental maturity were formulated on the basis of results reported by Inhelder & Piaget (1958) for similar systems. Administration of the tasks to 42 children aged 6–12 yr. provided general confirmation of the predictions for task difficulty and age‐placement. An analysis of developmental trends across task blocks is reported. It is concluded that behaviour in this situation conforms to the behaviour of concrete operational children in related situations.

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