The origin of the idea of chance in children

Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B.
Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Translation of La genése de l'idée de hasard chez l'enfant. Piaget and Inhelder study the development of the idea of chance in children. According to them, the concept of probability as a formal set of ideas develops only during the formal operational stage, which occurs about twelve years of age. By that age, children can reason probabilistically about a variety of randomising devices. In an experiment to demonstrate that children have an intuitive understanding of the law of large numbers and that intuitive thinking about chance events starts even before they are taught, they used a game with pointers which were stuck onto cards divided into various sectors and then spun. They found the children could predict that, in the long run, the pointer would fall onto every region marked on the card.

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