Intellectual realism: implications for investigations of perceptual perspective taking in young children.

L. S. Liben, B. Belknap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

To examine the hypothesis that children's difficulties on traditional perspective-taking tasks are in part due to intellectual realism (inappropriately including what is known to exist in a representation of what is seen), 60 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children were asked to select representations of various arrangements of blocks. In "visible" arrays, all blocks were visible to subjects; in "hidden" arrays, some blocks were occluded from view. Arrays were presented as already complete ("finished") or were constructed in front of the child ("unfinished"). Consistent with the proposed role of intellectual realism, children performed virtually perfectly on the visually simple (hidden) arrays when presented in finished form but erred on these same arrays when first presented in the unfinished condition. On visible arrays in which what is known to exist is fully congruent with what is actually seen, no difference between finished and unfinished conditions was found. These findings suggest that intellectual realism does influence performance on traditional perspective-taking tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-924
Number of pages4
JournalChild development
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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