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Do young children know what makes a picture useful for other people?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2010
JournalJournal of Cognition and Culture
Journal number1-2
Volume10
Number of pages11
Pages27-37
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Even babies have an implicit appreciation of the relationship between realistic pictures and the objects that they depict, but a mature understanding of pictures involves an explicit appreciation of how pictures work. Adults appreciate that pictures are public representations that can communicate information to other people, and that some pictures are better at doing this than others. We explore the foundations of this understanding in young children. In three experiments, using yes/no and forced-choice questions, we find that 3- and 4-year olds understand that other people benefit from pictures that contain greater perceptual detail and that the more realistic the picture, the better it is as a symbolic vehicle.