The way young minds work has been the focus of volumes of research. One of the most famous developmental scientists, Jean Piaget, changed the way we thought about human development. Some people thought that the infant mind was simply a slower version of the adult brain that had less capacity. Piaget challenged this notion by showing developmental stages. The stages noted qualitatively different types of functionality in the child, not just the ability to process things more quickly, or remember more information.

One of my favorite Piagetian tasks is “conversion.” This task highlights a child’s inability to focus on anything but the most salient feature of an observation. That is, whatever single feature appears to be the most informative to them will be the single feature to which they attend. Many of us have seen this task before, and some of us may remember thinking this way when we were children…

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