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Title: Children's drawings of affectively characterised topics
Author: Burkitt, Esther
ISNI:       0000 0001 2415 3835
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2000
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In response to conflicting claims within the field (Fox & Thomas, 1990; Thomas, Chaigne & Fox, 1989; Jolley, 1995), a series of experiments was conducted to explore the experimental conditions under which children might alter the formal and content properties of their drawings to depict topics which have received differential topic characterisation. In Experiment 1, children produced three copies of shaded models of men, dogs and trees. All children drew a baseline drawing, and two further drawings following nice and nasty topic characterisation. It was found that nice drawings were scaled up from baseline drawings and that nasty drawings were less consistently scaled down from baseline drawing size. Topic type did not interact with-this main effect. Experiment 2 examined children's choice of colour to complete pre-drawn models of men, dogs and trees following affective topic characterisation. Children altered their colour choice for the affectively characterised topics, and colour choice was related to colour preference. Experiment 3 investigated children's use of both size and colour in spontaneous drawings, and examined which additional strategies children might use to differentiate emotional character. Children's drawings of nice figures were again found to be increased from baseline size, whilst only drawings of nasty trees were reduced in surface area from baseline figure size. Children used a wide range of strategies in response to differential topic characterisation, and it was also found that children were able to report the techniques which they had used to represent emotional character. Experiments 4-6 assessed potential effects of drawing materials, emotional terms and educational group on children's drawings of positively and negatively characterised men. More consistent evidence was found to suggest that children increase the size of positively salient figures than reduce the size of negatively salient figures. Colour choice in relation to preference was found in Experiments 4 and 5, and the same range of additional strategies was observed throughout Experiments 4-6. There were only slight variations in the use of the strategies in situations where children used different drawing materials, received different sets of emotional characterisations, and in drawings by children from different educational groups. The experiments showed that effects of topic characterisation on a range of properties of children's drawings can be measured when task demands are systematically varied.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Differential topic characterisation; Child