NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1050013
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Just Pretending Can Be Really Learning: Children Use Pretend Play as a Source for Acquiring Generic Knowledge
Sutherland, Shelbie L.; Friedman, Ori
Developmental Psychology, v49 n9 p1660-1668 Sep 2013
Children can acquire generic knowledge by sharing in pretend play with more knowledgeable partners. We report 3 experiments in which we investigated how this learning occurs-how children draw generalizations from pretense, and whether they resist doing so for pretense that is unrealistic. In all experiments, preschoolers watched pretend scenarios about an animal and were then asked questions about real animals. In Experiment 1, 3- and 4-year-olds treated the pretend scenarios as informative about the kind of animal represented in the pretense but as uninformative about another kind of animal. In Experiments 2 and 3, 4- and 5-year-olds resisted learning from scenarios that contradicted their existing knowledge and expectations. Together, these findings show that children's learning from pretense shows specificity for the kinds represented in pretense and that children's learning from pretense is selective.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A