Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Imaginary Friendships Could Boost Child Development

01.03.2005


A post-graduate student from The University of Manchester’s School of Psychological Sciences is investigating the theory that children with imaginary companions are quicker to develop language skills and retain knowledge.



Anna Roby, who is studying for her Master of Science degree in Applied Psychology, is carrying out the research, which aims to test whether having an imaginary friend can help children’s learning, development and creativity.

The theory is that by chatting to an imaginary companion a child becomes more practised at using language and constructing conversation, as he or she is carrying out both sides of the interaction. Children aged 4 – 11 both with and without imaginary friends are therefore being studied, to compare their ability to communicate meaning and the complexity of their grammar.


Researchers estimate that up to 25% of children have imaginary companions, particularly only- or first-born children. They are defined as vivid, imagined characters which might be people, animals or objects, which a child believes they are interacting with in an on-going way. The friend may be ‘invisible’ or take the form of a toy animal or doll, and is treated as if it has a personality and consciousness of its own.

Anna also works as a Research Assistant at the University’s Max Planck Child Study Centre, and is being supervised in the study by colleagues Dr Evan Kidd and Dr Ludovica Serratrice. Dr Kidd said: “We are very interested in the outcome of this study, and it has opened up an area which has great potential for further investigation.

“If Anna’s theories are correct they will help reverse common misconceptions about children with imaginary friends, as they come to be seen as having an advantage rather than anything to worry about.”

Parents of children aged 4 – 11 with imaginary companions who are interested in being involved in the study should contact Anna Roby, on 0161 275 8588 or anna.roby@manchester.ac.uk.

Jo Nightingale | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/press

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

nachricht Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>