Revisiting the piagetian test of conservation of quantities of liquid: argumentation within the adult child interaction



The aim of this paper is to explain the interest of revisiting the classical piagetian test of conservation of quantities of liquid, in order to reconsider Piaget's statements about argumentation in children. Contrarily to Piaget, we make the hypothesis that to a certain extent argumentation is co-constructed by the actors within the specific setting in which they interact, i.e. during the testing situation. We observe how children construct conversational moves in connection with the adult's interventions. Piaget considered children's statements as dependent on the cognitive level (i. e. logical): we expect the children's arguments to be also the result of the interactions with the tester and in particular of his/her framing of what is at stake.

General Information

Keywords: conservation, argumentation, adult-child interaction, conversation, test

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Perret-Clermont A., Arcidiacono F. Revisiting the piagetian test of conservation of quantities of liquid: argumentation within the adult child interaction. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2009. Vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 25–33. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Anne-Nelly Perret-Clermont, Doctor of Psychology, Prof. Dr. h.c., Prof. emer. in psychology and education of Institute of psychology and education, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchatel, Switzerland, e-mail:

Francesco Arcidiacono, PhD, Professor at the Institute of Psychology and Education, University of Neuchatel, Neuchatel, Switzerland



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