Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




In order to assess the negative effects of color, size, shape, and spacing (length) transformations on conservation judgements sixty-four 3, 4, 5, and 6 year old children were tested on four Piagetian type conservation of number tasks each containing one reversible color, size, shape or spacing transformation. Order of transformation presentation was counterbalanced and number of objects used per transformation were varied from 3 to 5 to 7 to 9. Results show that spacing (when compared to color, size and shape) is a prepotent cue for non-conserving 3, 4, and 5 year olds but not for 6 year olds. Results also show that color, size, and shape transformations did not appear to be exerting any negative influence (i.e., they did not lead to more consistent non-conserving responses than would be expected by chance) on the conservation judgements of the subjects in this study. Order of presentation and number of objects per transformation also did not appear to affect conservation judgements.