Angeline S Lillard

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A growing body of research indicates that children do not understand mental representation until around age 4. However, children engage in pretend play by age 2, and pretending seems to require understanding mental representation. This apparent contradiction has been reconciled by the claim that in pretense there is precocious understanding of mental(More)
Pretend play has recently been of great interest to researchers studying children's understanding of the mind. One reason for this interest is that pretense seems to require many of the same skills as mental state understanding, and these skills seem to emerge precociously in pretense. Pretend play might be a zone of proximal development, an activity in(More)
An important issue for understanding early cognition is why very young children's real-world representations do not get confused by pretense events. One possible source of information for children is the pretender's behaviors. Pretender behaviors may vary systematically across real and pretend scenarios, perhaps signaling to toddlers to interpret certain(More)
Pretend play has been claimed to be crucial to children's healthy development. Here we examine evidence for this position versus 2 alternatives: Pretend play is 1 of many routes to positive developments (equifinality), and pretend play is an epiphenomenon of other factors that drive development. Evidence from several domains is considered. For language,(More)
Pretend play appears to be important to a theory of mind, but exactly how or why has been controversial. One widely entertained hypothesis about why pretense is important to understanding minds is termed the Metarepresentational Model. According to this model, children knowingly consider and manipulate mental representations during pretense. Children(More)
Researchers studying early social cognition have been particularly interested in pretend play and have obtained evidence indicating that young children do not understand that pretending involves mental representation. The present research investigates whether children think of pretending as a mental state at all, by looking at whether they cluster it with(More)
OBJECTIVE The goal of this research was to study whether a fast-paced television show immediately influences preschool-aged children's executive function (eg, self-regulation, working memory). METHODS Sixty 4-year-olds were randomly assigned to watch a fast-paced television cartoon or an educational cartoon or draw for 9 minutes. They were then given 4(More)
How children understand the mental state of pretense has recently become an active area of inquiry, with some research suggesting that young children do not understand that pretending is based on mentally representing some alternate state of affairs. Because intention is thought to be understood earlier than mental representation generally, these(More)