Light Box

This study investigated whether young children make accurate causal inferences on the basis of patterns of variation and covariation. Young children between the ages of 2 and 4 were presented with a new causal relation by means of a machine called the "object detector." The object detector is a machine that lights up and plays music when certain objects, but not others, are placed on it.

The light box was designed so that when a block is placed on top of the box, the box "turns on" and continues to light up and play music as long as the object is in contact with the top of the box. It "turned off" as soon as the object ceased to make contact with it. This design provided a strong impression that something about the object itself caused the effect.

The researcher is able to activate or disable the light box with a remote control mounted under the table. The box is lit with an array of LEDs and is activated with pressure switches under the cover. The remote unit can disable or enable the light box.

Light box construction details.



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