Psychological Theory Of Object Permanence

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Introduction As quoted by the psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott, “It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found.” Hide-and-seek games involve temporary separations and reunions, and are thus games of relationships (Israelievitch, 2008). Peekaboo uses the fundamental structure of all good jokes - surprise, balanced with expectation. Stafford 2014 Hide-and-Seek According to Israelievitch (2008) the game of peekaboo played between mothers and infants is the earliest form of hide-and-seek. It is a game that has been played around the world for multiple generations, crossing cultural and language barriers. It is played mainly with infants, in which the one player hides their face, and then returns into the others’ view. As in peekaboo, hide-and-seek is a game of hiding, searching and finding, of temporary separations and reunions between the players. It is proposed by developmental psychologists that peekaboo demonstrates an infant’s inability to grasp the concept of object permanence. Object permanence can be defined as ‘the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed’ (Wikipedia, 2016). According to the cognitive developmental theory of Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, object permanence develops at the Fourth Substage of the Sensorimotor Stage. This is the Coordination of Secondary Circular Reactions Stage, which typically occurs between the ages of 8 to 12 months. It is at this stage that the earliest understanding of object
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