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Developmental Psychology 2 > Play > Flashcards

Flashcards in Play Deck (29)
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Why is play important?

High-level play has cognitive, social and emotional benefits.
Play is a significant contributor to the child's development.


What are two main definitions of play?

Functional definitions - if there is an external goal present - the behaviour is not play. Play has no clear immediate benefits or goals.
Structural definitions - describes behaviour that occurs only in play (e.g. play signals). Behaviours not indexed by play signals can be considered play if they are - fragmented, exaggerated, re-ordered.


What is Smith & Pellegrini's definition of play?

Intrinsic motivation, nonliterality, positive effect, flexible.


What counts as physical activity play?

Running, throwing, wrestling.


What is rough and tumble play?

Vigorous behaviours like wrestling. Playful context. Social.
Hard to tell R&T apart from real fighting (Smith, 2002).


Name some key differences between R&T and real fighting.

R&T - no conflict over resources, smiling expression, can be more than two children, contact is not hard, stay together afterwards.
Real fighting - conflict over resources, frowning/crying expressions, usually only two children, little to no restraint, usually move away afterwards.


Name some of the key aspects of play in the sensorimotor period.

Difficult to tell apart from exploration.
By 12 months - trial-and-error behaviour.
By 18-24 months - beginning of representation thought (planning behaviour).


How does pretend play develop?

It is an intrinsically motivated activity. Transforms meaning of objects, people, situations and time.
Metacommunitactive messages + importance of emotionally significant experiences.
18-36mo - complex forms of play. Symbolic representation + social communicative skills.
Peaks during preschool (2-3yos) + declines during primary.
Sociodramatic play - 2+ children acting out definite roles.
2 years old and below - no script
3+ years - emergence of scripts. Mastered basic elements of social pretend play. Increase awareness of social roles with time (up to 5 years old).


What difference does having an imaginary companion make (Taylor, 1993)?

25-65% of children have one.
Children with ICs are less likely to need a finger to pretend to brush teeth compared to children with no ICs.


What are the gender differences in pretend play?

No consistent differences found.
Gender differences in roles taken in sociodramatic play.


Name some key cultural differences in play.

Gossi (2010) - Parakana children pretend to do real tasks. Compared to other children in Brazil - less time for play + tend to be gender + age segregated.
Another study -
Culturally cultivated play - UK + US.
Culturally accepted play - Kpelle + Mayan.
Culturally curtailed play - Maya in Yukatan.
Farver & Shin (1997) - Anglo + Korean-American children - Korean-American culture is less assertive, more hierarchical. Play is more valued in US.
Morelli et al (2003) - Efe had very little play + scholastic play with an adult compared to industrialised areas (West Newton + Sugarhouse) that showed high levels of play, scholastic play and lesson with adult.


What is Smith's play ethos?

Play is vital and essential for development in industrial societies.


What the three models for the importance of play in development (Smith)?

Epiphenomenon - no particular role in development. By-product of other abilities.
Equifinality - play is a way that children can learn + acquire skills. Useful but not essential.
Crucial - essential.


What are some positive effects of break time (Blatchford, 1998)?

Peer relations, social skills, socialisation from peers.
Barros (2009) - teachers of students who had more than 15 mins per day rated the classroom as better behaved.


Give some examples of hypotheses regarding the functions of exercise play.

Pellegrini & Smith (1998) - locomotor play improves physical strength + stamina.
Bjorklund & Green (1992) - physical play relieves memory overload and ultimately enhances learning (cognitive immaturity hypothesis).
R&T - practice hunting skills?


Describe the role of play fighting in meerkats (Sharpe, 2005).

Play fighting did not lead to dominant wrestling position in real matches - not more likely to win.


What did Pellegrini & Gustafson (2005) discover about play with objects?

That play was not related to any of the tasks. Lure retrieval one was predicted by construction and associative fluency was also predicted by construction.


What did Vygotsky believe about pretend play?

That it allows children to separate referent from object. That it is separated from reality.


What did Piaget believe about pretend play?

It is an index of cognitive development.


Describe the results from Lillard (2013)'s study into pretend play.

Creativity was best in children in the free-play condition. However, inconsistent results.
Theory of mind - inconsistent results. Maybe supported within the equifinal or epiphenomenal theory.
Language - possible relationship.
Narrative - possible relationship.
- The study consisted of the same experimenter for all conditions - experimenter bias?


Describe the results from Smith and Whitney (1987)'s study into pretend play.

There was no significant effect between fantasy-play, free-play, imitation or the control condition in creativity.


What are the benefits of pretend play on theory of mind (Taylor & Carlston, 1997)?

However, another finding was that children with an IC or that had high levels of pretend play had high fantasy levels.


What is the relationship between fantasy talk + narrative ability 2 years later?

However, children did have a better narrative score if they had ICs.


What is EF?

The ability to override automatic thoughts. E.g. WM, inhibitory control + attentional shift.


What were the effects of EF (Thibodeau, 2016)?

Working memory was higher for imaginative play condition (compared to play + control).
Inhibitory control had no effect.
Attentional shift was higher for imaginative play.


What is play therapy?

Work with children who have experienced trauma. Encourage children to re-enact certain events - helps children by working with situations whilst being slightly removed from them.
Evaluations of play therapy generally report positive outcomes but not necessarily more positive than psychotherapy without play.


What is the evidence of the cognitive benefits of play like?

Not very strong or convincing.
There is stronger evidence for the benefits of play on social competence.


What is the conclusion of play regarding the 3 theories?

It is likely to have benefits but the benefits are unlikely to be essential.
The enjoyment of play itself gives an enduring value to play.


What are two potential links between pretend play and its benefits?

Children can learn in other settings - children can learn better from guided tasks.
Maybe more social compliant/intelligent children pretend more?