Rebekah A. Richert

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The four experiments presented support Boyer’s theory that counterintuitive concepts have transmission advantages that account for the commonness and ease of communicating many non-natural cultural concepts. In Experiment 1, 48 American college students recalled expectation-violating items from culturally unfamiliar folk stories better than more mundane(More)
Little research exists on how children understand the actions of nonhuman agents. Researchers often assume that children overgeneralize and attribute human properties such as false beliefs to nonhuman agents. In this study, three experiments were conducted to test this assumption. The experiments used 24 children in New York (aged 2,11-6,11 years), 52(More)
In three experiments, 31⁄2to 6-year-old children were presented with analogical problems in which the protagonists were either real people or fantasy characters. Children were more likely to transfer solutions from the stories about real people rather than the stories about fantasy characters. These results suggest that the use of a fantasy character might(More)
Discriminating what is pretense from what is real is a fundamental problem in development. Research has addressed the proficiency with which adults and children discriminate between play fighting and real fighting, and yet none (to our knowledge) has investigated discrimination of other kinds of pretense and real acts. In addition, little is known about(More)
Television has become a nearly ubiquitous feature in children's cultural landscape. A review of the research into young children's learning from television indicates that the likelihood that children will learn from screen media is influenced by their developing social relationships with on-screen characters, as much as by their developing perception of the(More)
To explore 3to 7-year-old children’s developing understanding of human and nonhuman minds, a battery of “background knowledge” tasks was administered to 51 American children. The children were asked to speculate about how three other intentional agents (mother, dog, and God) would understand various visual displays. First, children answered when they(More)
Many young children will claim that someone is pretending to be something even when the person does not know what that something is. To examine whether children's failure to take knowledge prerequisites into account is part of a more fundamental problem in recognizing how mental representations constrain external ones, the authors asked children whether an(More)
This study examined the relationship between viewing an infant DVD and expressive and receptive language outcomes. Children between 12 and 15 months were randomly assigned to view Baby Wordsworth, a DVD highlighting words around the house marketed for children beginning at 12 months of age. Viewings took place in home settings over 6 weeks. After every 2(More)
Preschool-aged children are exposed to fantasy stories with the expectation that they will learn messages in those stories that are applied to real-world situations. We examined children's transfer from fantastical and real stories. Over the course of 2 studies, 3½- to 5½-year-old children were less likely to transfer problem solutions from stories about(More)
Past research has suggested exergame play improves adolescents' executive function (EF) skills. EF change in 70 African American and Hispanic/Latino 10- to 16-year-olds participating in an inner-city summer camp was assessed following five 30-minute exergame play sessions. Children's EF scores improved from pre- to posttest, and factors related to this(More)