ERIC Number: EJ1085862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Developing Concepts of Ordinary and Extraordinary Communication
Lane, Jonathan D.; Evans, E. Margaret; Brink, Kimberly A.; Wellman, Henry M.
Developmental Psychology, v52 n1 p19-30 Jan 2016
We examine how understandings of ordinary and extraordinary communication develop. Three- to 10-year-old children and adults (N = 183) were given scenarios in which a protagonist wanted help from a human (their parent) or from God. Scenarios varied in whether protagonists expressed their desires aloud (by asking) or silently (by hoping), whether (for human scenarios) parents were nearby or far away, and whether (for God scenarios) protagonists expressed desires through ordinary means (asking or hoping) or more extraordinary means (praying). Following each scenario, participants were asked whether the recipient (either the parent or God) was aware of the protagonist's desire. Children as young as 3 to 4 years old understood that both loudness and distance limit the effectiveness of human communication, reporting that humans would most likely be aware of desires when they were expressed both aloud and nearby. As well, by this age children reported that God would more often be aware of desires than would humans, but children of all ages often reported that God (like humans) would be more aware of desires expressed aloud (rather than silently). These concepts of ordinary and extraordinary communication continued to be refined through middle childhood. Children's performance on standard theory-of-mind tasks and participants' religious background predicted whether they attributed awareness to God.
Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), Children, Adults, Age Differences, Individual Development, Vignettes, Theory of Mind, Religion, Speech Communication, Geographic Location, Acoustics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A