Gobet, F. (1999).

Simulations of stagewise development with a symbolic architecture. In J. P. Dauwalder & W. Tschacher (Eds.), Dynamics, synergetics, and autonomous agents. Singapore: World Scientific.



This chapter compares Piaget's theory of development with Feigenbaum and Simon's (1962, 1984) EPAM theory. An attempt is made to map the concepts of assimilation and accommodation in Piaget's theory onto the concepts of familiarisation and accommodation in EPAM. An EPAM-like model of the balance scale task is then presented, with a discussion of preliminary results showing how it accounts for children's discontinuous, stage-like development. The analysis focuses on the transition between rules, using catastrophe flags (Gilmore, 1981) as criteria. It is argued that some symbolic models may be described as dynamical systems, in the same way as some non-symbolic