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ERIC Number: ED080213
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Developmental Structural Account of Riddles.
Sutton-Smith, Brian
This study links the Piagetian categories of classification with an analysis of the structure of riddles. Subjects were 623 elementary and junior high school students from small towns in Northwestern Ohio. The children provided experimenters with riddles and each riddle was scrutinized for possible inclusion in the following categories: (1) pre-riddle, (2) implicit reclassifications, (3) riddle parodies, (4) non-criterial relationships, (5) explicit reclassifications, (6) non-criterial classifications, and (7) multiple classifications. A riddle was defined as a puzzling question with an answer made arbitrary because the subject was expecting to react to meaning A but was given meaning B, and systematic because meaning A and B shared another semantic relationship. Results of the study indicate that riddles typify: (1) the preoperational period, (1st-2nd grade), (2) the two dimensional (3rd-4th grade), and (3) the focus on behavioral expectancies (5th and up). The riddle can be seen as a working model of the child-adult relationship of oral interrogation, ambiguity and humiliation. (ST)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A