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Beck, S. (2016) Counterfactuals Matter: A Reply to Weisberg & Gopnik (Journal Article)

Abstract:
Author/s:
Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
40
Page/s:
260-261
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Hoicka, E. et al. (2016) Parents Produce Explicit Cues That Help Toddlers Distinguish Joking and Pretending (Journal Article)

Abstract:

While separate pieces of research found parents offer toddlers cues to express that they are (1) joking and (2) pretending, and that toddlers and preschoolers understand intentions to (1) joke and (2) pretend, it is not yet clear whether parents and toddlers consider joking and pretending to be distinct concepts. This is important as distinguishing these two forms of non-literal acts could open a gateway to understanding the complexities of the non-literal world, as well as the complexities of intentions in general. Two studies found parents offer explicit cues to help 16- to 24-month-olds distinguish pretending and joking. Across an action play study (n = 25) and a verbal play study (n = 40) parents showed more disbelief and less belief through their actions and language when joking versus pretending. Similarly, toddlers showed less belief through their actions, and older toddlers showed less belief through their language. Toddlers' disbelief could be accounted for by their response to parents' language and actions. Thus, these studies reveal a mechanism by which toddlers learn to distinguish joking and pretending. Parents offer explicit cues to distinguish these intentions, and toddlers use these cues to guide their own behaviors, which in turn allows toddlers to distinguish these intentional contexts.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
40
Page/s:
941-971
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Humour
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Weisberg, D. et al. (2013) Pretense, Counterfactuals, and Bayesian Causal Models: Why What Is Not Real Really Matters (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Young children spend a large portion of their time pretending about non-real situations. Why? We answer this question by using the framework of Bayesian causal models to argue that pretending and counterfactual reasoning engage the same component cognitive abilities: disengaging with current reality, making inferences about an alternative representation of reality, and keeping this representation separate from reality. In turn, according to causal models accounts, counterfactual reasoning is a crucial tool that children need to plan for the future and learn about the world. Both planning with causal models and learning about them require the ability to create false premises and generate conclusions from these premises. We argue that pretending allows children to practice these important cognitive skills. We also consider the prevalence of unrealistic scenarios in children's play and explain how they can be useful in learning, despite appearances to the contrary.

Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
37
Page/s:
1368-1381
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Learning
  • Literature review
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social-emotional
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Weisberg, D. et al. (2016) Which Counterfactuals Matter? A Response to Beck (Journal Article)

Abstract:
Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
40
Page/s:
257-259
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literature review
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: