Through conversation, books, and the media, young children are continually exposed to information that is new to them. Much of the information they receive is factual (e.g., the names of the planets in the solar system), but some information is not based in truth and represents nonexistent entities (e.g., the Easter bunny). Children need to figure out which information is real and which is not. By age 4, children consistently use the context in which the new information is presented to determine whether or not it is real.
That's one of the major findings in new studies conducted by researchers at the Universities of Texas and Virginia and published in the November/December 2006 issue of the journal Child Development.
In three studies, about 400 children ages 3 to 6 heard about something new and had to say whether they thought it was real or not. Some children heard the information defined in scientific terms ("Doctors use surnits to make medicine"), while others heard it defined in fantastical terms ("Fairies use hercs to make fairy dust"). The researchers found that children's ability to use contextual cues to determine whether the information is true develops significantly between the ages of 3 and 5.
Moreover, when new information is presented to children in a way that relates the information in a meaningful way to a familiar entity, they are more likely to use the contextual cues to make a decision about whether the new information is true than if the new information is simply associated with the entity.
"These studies provide new insight into the development of children's ability to make the fantasy-reality distinction," explains Jacqueline D. Woolley, lead author of the studies and a professor at the University of Texas. "It is clear from the present studies that young children do not believe everything they hear, and that they can use the context surrounding the presentation of a new entity to make inferences about the real versus fantastical nature of that entity."
Andrea Browning | EurekAlert!
Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences