ERIC Number: EJ939922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
I Saw the "Real" Father Christmas! Children's Everyday Uses of the Words "Real", "Really", and "Pretend"
Bunce, Louise; Harris, Margaret
British Journal of Developmental Psychology, v26 n3 p445-455 Sep 2008
The words "real", "really" and "pretend" are used in developmental research paradigms to reflect both the notions of 'authenticity' (in pretense-reality and appearance-reality research) and 'existence' (in fantasy-reality research). The current study explored whether children also expressed these notions in their everyday uses of "real", "really", and "pretend". Mothers were interviewed and kept diary records, resulting in data for a younger group of children (2- to 3-year-olds, N=80) and an older group (4- to 7-year-olds, N=101). Utterances were analysed according to different uses of the target words and the topic of conversation in which they occurred. The words "real", "really", and "pretend" were used by both the younger and older age groups predominantly to consider the authenticity of things around them. Expression of the notion of existence was less common, particularly among the younger children. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to children's performance in experimental studies, particularly those that intend to question children's understanding of the fantasy-reality distinction.
Descriptors: Fantasy, Young Children, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Age Differences, Interviews, Mothers, Diaries, Speech Communication, Imagination
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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