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Title: Children's misunderstanding of photographs
Author: Donnelly, Katherine Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 7403
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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This work seeks to advance our understanding ofa preschool-age view of the relationship between representations and their referents. Here we have outlined and tested a novel task - the false objects task - designed to mirror its predecessor - the false photographs task (Zaitchik, 1990). In line with previous false photograph work, behavioural measures here have indicated that children perceive representations and their referents to be in accordance with one another, over-endowing referent objects with aspects which are unique to the photograph's own spatiotemporal history. In five initial experiments we have provided a robust demonstration of children's tendency to make errors on this novel task, in contrast to suitable controls and across a range of materials. In the second half of this body of work we sought to investigate the factors contributing to errors on the false objects task, and concluded that these could not be attributed to memory difficulties, cueing or a proclivity to view the situation in accordance with magical casual reasoning. In contrast, error rates reduced when the experimental context encouraged children to view the representation and referent object as separate items. We conclude that these results most strongly support an account of children's difficulty with the dual nature of representations. These findings support and extend our understanding of the repercussions of this difficulty, and indicate that confusion between ''the sign and the thing signified" is evident in children's behaviour as well as in their verbal reports.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available