Seeing Like a Baby

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Wouldn't it be nice if when something was out of sight it truly disappeared? I know there would be a few things I would try this with, homework, dirty clothes, the list can go on. Well as we read in the book this concept of object permanence is actually something babies lack and so they can view the world with the mindset "Out of sight, out of mind". This would definitely make the world more simple, and infinitely more entertaining. This lack in object permanence is what makes peekaboo so enthralling to a baby. When their parent or caretaker covers their face with their hands they actually believe they are gone, then return when the face comes back into view. Now this would seem like it would always be an amazing time, but the article I read put it into a more sad and terrifying tone.

The article talked about how while the lack of object permanence would make games of peekaboo mystifying it would also make people simply leaving the room devastating. The idea the infant has is that the parent is simply gone instead of in a different room, which can be a very scary thing for something fresh out of the womb. A favorite toy going behind the family couch would be like taking it out of the world. The article claims that these disappearances occurring so often in a child's world allow them to adapt through habituation, but this claim is not consistent across all infants as I'm sure any parent knows the constant crying that will follow their leaving the child. I'm not quite sure if I would hold the lack of object permanence in such high regard if I had to experience it every day, but right now it sure sounds like a pretty cool ability.

The articles I used can be found here:

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This page contains a single entry by carpe377 published on November 20, 2011 6:12 PM.

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