When you see a small child try to fit into or on top of a doll-sized toy, youre likely to laugh. Thats exactly what three co-investigators of a new study initially did when their own toddlers attempted to fit into a toy car, a miniature room and a dolls crib.
Based on those personal observations, as well as their research as developmental psychologists interested in how young children understand symbols, the researchers from the University of Virginia, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set out to understand why youngsters, who actually know better, make such dramatic mistakes about scale.
Not to worry, moms and dads. The study of 18- to 30-month-old children, published in the May 14 journal Science, found these kinds of errors -- scale errors -- to be common in this age group. Videotapes show many participants in the research seriously trying to slide down miniature slides, squeeze into tiny toy cars and sit in dollhouse chairs.
Pat Vaughan Tremmel | EurekAlert!
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