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ERIC Number: EJ951150
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
Young Children Discriminate Improbable from Impossible Events in Fiction
Weisberg, Deena Skolnick; Sobel, David M.
Cognitive Development, v27 n1 p90-98 Jan-Mar 2012
Can young children discriminate impossible events, which cannot happen in reality, from improbable events, which are unfamiliar but could possibly happen in reality? When asked explicitly to categorize these types of events, 4-year-olds (N = 54) tended to report that improbable events were impossible, consistent with prior results (Shtulman & Carey, 2007). But when presented with stories made up of improbable events, children preferred to continue these stories with additional improbable events rather than with impossible events, demonstrating their sensitivity to the difference between the two types of events. Children were indifferent between continuing these stories with additional improbable events or with ordinary, possible events. Children's differential performance on the story and categorization tasks suggests that they possess some knowledge of the distinction between improbable and impossible but find it difficult to express this knowledge without a supportive context. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A