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Title: Flexibility in young children's human figure drawings
Author: Sitton, Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3416 3607
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1988
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Young children are often regarded as inflexible and stereotypic in their drawings. A series of five experiments investigated young children, in three age groups (3;6-4;5; 4;6-5;5; 5;6-6;5) on various tasks of human figure drawings, to establish if and how they alter their initial drawings according to instructional constraints. Experimental conditions were manipulated between baseline drawings, a contrast situation, a communication game strategy and a paired communication and non-communication experiment. It was found that young children do differentiate between task figures with the aid of various qualitative and quantitative codes. The differential use of discriminatory first and second order codes was found to be age related and adaptable to context. The effect of experimental conditions (especially the communication game) was to enhance use of codes that would otherwise appear spontaneously at an older age only. Most remarkably affected by experimental conditions were the 4;6-5;5 year olds. Rate of change in sequential order was found to be quite flexible and age related. Furthermore, placement on the paper was used as a discriminating code between task figures. The results suggest that young children are using a preferential hierarchy to encode task figures and that they flexibily change their drawings to meet different informational requirements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology of childrens art