Document Detail

The conceptual underpinnings of pretense: pretending is not 'behaving-as-if'.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17094955     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The ability to engage in and recognize pretend play begins around 18 months. A major challenge for theories of pretense is explaining how children are able to engage in pretense, and how they are able to recognize pretense in others. According to one major account, the metarepresentational theory, young children possess both production and recognition abilities because they possess the mental state concept, pretend. According to a more recent rival account, the Behavioral theory, young children are behaviorists about pretense, and only produce and recognize pretense as a sort of behavior - namely, behaving 'as-if'. We review both the metarepresentational and Behavioral accounts and argue that the Behavioral theory fails to characterize very young children's abilities to produce and to recognize pretense. Among other problems, the Behavioral theory implies that children should frequently mis-recognize regular behavior as pretense, while certain regular forms of pretend play should neither be produced nor recognized. Like other mental states, pretense eludes purely behavioral description. The metarepresentational theory does not suffer these problems and provides a better account of children's pretense.
Ori Friedman; Alan M Leslie
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2006-11-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cognition     Volume:  105     ISSN:  0010-0277     ISO Abbreviation:  Cognition     Publication Date:  2007 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-16     Completed Date:  2007-12-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0367541     Medline TA:  Cognition     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  103-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Child Development
Child Language
Concept Formation*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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