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Object Permanence/What Makes a Planet?

In Podcast by Brian Koberlein6 Comments

If you’ve ever been around a baby, you know how fun it is to hide an object and bring it back out. The baby believes the object is gone, and in fact, forgets it even existed. Fortunately we all grow out of this and develop something called object permanence. Today we’re going to talk about this with Dr. Grant Gutheil, Associate Professor of Psychology at Nazareth College in Rochester NY. In the second half of our show we’ll talk about what makes a planet a planet, and why Pluto is no longer considered one.

Host: Brian Koberlein
Guest: Grant Gutheil
Producer: Mark Gillespie
Music: Marcus Warner

The One Universe at a Time Podcast is produced at the Rochester Institute of Technology with support from the RIT College of Science.


  1. I’m glad you’re doing pod casts,although I enjoyed reading your articles,hearing them sink in better.thanks.

  2. I was surprised at the end that you bet Pluto and Ceres will regain their planethood after intense study. I think there is a fundamental conflict between orbital characteristics and all other physical characteristics when attempting to define how planet-y something is and whether it makes it above a certain threshold. Because I am contrary I don’t care if Ceres or Pluto (or any other dwarfs) make it. I just want Titan to be a planet. Poor Titan just so happens to be next to Saturn. It doesn’t make sense that it’s a moon while Mercury, by the sole virtue of its orbital parameters, is a planet.

  3. Oh, the object permanence talk was also very interesting. It’s a little unfortunate that it’s paired up against the planet debate. They go well together but somehow the planet thing is so much easier to debate.

  4. Just a suggestion> Would you be able to add links to some of the studies and findings that you mention? For instance, I found the Object Permanence discussion fascinating. I loved the discussion about babies being able to recognize – after birth – stories that Mom had read in utero was amazing. I’d love to be able to cite that. Just a suggestion. Thanks for the very professional work that’s being done on the podcast.

  5. I really enjoyed the two, (and proto-type) podcasts with Dr. Grant Gutheil. Will you be working with more of the PYW team with future podcasts?

    1. Author

      Grant will definitely be back in the future. Others might as well. Right now I’m trying to have a wide range of guests to give people the chance to hear a wide range of topics.

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