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Provoked use of height in picture as a depth cue in young children's drawings

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1985
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Journal number1
Volume3
Number of pages4
Pages95-98
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Young children frequently draw a depth relationship as a left-right relationship on the page. However, this is not a rigid habit, since they use height in picture if the depth relationship is stressed before they make their drawing. A group of 4–6-year-olds was asked to draw an array of two bricks, arranged one behind the other, and an array of three bricks containing both a depth relationship and a left-right relationship. Most 4-year-olds drew the two-item array horizontally, and there was a limited tendency to shift to vertical portrayal of depth in the three-item array. Again, most 5- and 6-year-olds drew the two-brick array horizontally, but a clear majority used vertical portrayal for the three-item array. In addition, there was significant carry-over of the vertical method from the three-item array to a subsequent drawing of the two-item array. It is concluded that, when faced with more complex draftsmanship problems, children spontaneously adopt height in picture as a depth cue.