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Sensitivity to viewpoint in children's drawings of objects and relations between objects

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1991
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume52
Number of pages20
Pages375-394
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Previous literature suggests that young children are relatively insensitive to viewpoint, only showing their view when the task is manipulated to provoke it. In contrast, older children appear to become more sensitive to viewpoint and it has been claimed that there is a developmental progression toward use of linear perspective as a means of drawing a view-specific scene. This study investigates sensitivity to viewpoint by manipulating it directly. Children between the ages of 6 and 14 years were asked to draw an L-shaped array of three cubes from one of three views: frontal eye level, frontal looking down, and corner looking down. At every age children showed sensitivity to their view in the sense that there were consistent differences between the drawings produced in the three viewing conditions. In the case of younger children this did not lead to an accurate portrayal of either their view or the array relations. Older children portrayed their view and the array relations more accurately, and viewpoint had a strong effect on the choice of projection system both within and between objects. There was no evidence of a general progression toward use of linear perspective.