ERIC Number: ED451929
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Understanding of Means-Ends Relations in Stories and Real Life.
Mills, Patricia A.; Shore, Cecilia M.
This study investigated children's responses to failed attempts at reaching possible and impossible goals, and their beliefs about the efficacy of wishing as a magical solution in such situations. Preschoolers were presented with failure scenarios in three different formats: a standard picture book presentation, scenarios enacted in real life by the experimenters, and a photo book of the experimenters performing the action. Findings indicated that children's assessment of goal possibility was most adult-like in the "real life" depiction. When discussing a real-life possible goal, children were more likely to recommend that the actor try again and less likely to recommend making a wish or giving up. Children predicted success on second attempts if a different method was used or if a real actor used the same method. The findings suggest that preschool children do have the ability to distinguish the causal structure of the real universe from that of a fictional one. (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A