The distinction between real and fictional worlds: Investigating individual differences in fantasy understanding

Martarelli, Corinna S.; Mast, Fred W.; Läge, Damian; Roebers, Claudia M. (2015). The distinction between real and fictional worlds: Investigating individual differences in fantasy understanding. Cognitive development, 36(Oct-Dec), pp. 111-126. Elsevier 10.1016/j.cogdev.2015.10.001

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In this paper, two studies are reported in which children’s ability to distinguish reality from fantasy was investigated. In Experiment 1, children of different ages made pairwise comparisons of 12 pictures of fictional figures and 3 photographs of real people by evaluating on a 6-point scale how easily these figures could meet each other. The results revealed that fantasy/reality distinction develops with age: 7–8-year-old showed a fundamental categorical distinction (comparable to that of adults) whereas 3–4-year-old treated the real world like one of many worlds. In Experiment 2, we took an individual differences approach and tested 116 4–5-year-old who performed the same fantasy task. In addition, they were presented with theory-of-mind tasks and tests measuring non-verbal intelligence and language skills. The results showed that, after statistically controlling for age, non-verbal intelligence, and language skills, theory-of-mind abilities still significantly contributed to the prediction of fantasy understanding.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Martarelli, Corinna; Mast, Fred; Läge, Damian and Roebers, Claudia

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0885-2014

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Fred Mast

Date Deposited:

28 Jan 2016 16:06

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2017 11:23

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.cogdev.2015.10.001

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Fantasy/reality distinction; Fantasy/fantasy distinctions; Theory of mind; Non-verbal intelligence; Language skills; Non-metric multidimensional scaling

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.74837

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/74837

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