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Prior visual inspection and naming: Two factors that enhance hidden feature inclusion in young children's drawings

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1984
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Journal number4
Volume2
Number of pages6
Pages371-376
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

It is widely held that young children draw what they know rather than what they see. However, evidence is growing that they can be provoked into making visually realistic drawings. In this study two factors were found to affect the form of visual realism. In Expt 1, 5- and 6-year-olds produced visually realistic drawings of a familiar object when it was neither named nor given to the child to inspect before drawing. On the other hand, prior inspection led to significant hidden feature inclusion at 5 and 6 years, and this applied whether the object drawn was familiar or novel. Seven-year-olds' drawings were visually realistic in all presentation conditions. In Expt 2, 6-year-olds were shown to include the hidden feature if the object was named before drawing. Two conclusions are drawn. It is possible that children draw what they have seen over time rather than what they see at a particular time. Secondly, object naming may lead to drawing from a canonical model tagged by the object's name.