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Seven-year-olds’ references to internal states when playing with toy figures and a video game

Hashmi, Salim, Paine, Amy L. ORCID: and Hay, Dale F. ORCID: 2021. Seven-year-olds’ references to internal states when playing with toy figures and a video game. Infant and Child Development 30 (3) , e2223. 10.1002/icd.2223

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References to internal states (e.g., thoughts, feelings, and desires) indicate children's appreciation of people's inner worlds. Many children spend time playing video games; however, the nature of children's speech when doing so has received little attention. We investigated the use of internal state language (ISL) as 251 seven‐year‐olds played with toy figures and a video game designed for the study. Although children used ISL more when playing with toy figures, children used ISL in both contexts, highlighting video game play as a context where children demonstrate their appreciation of inner worlds. Children's speech in the two contexts differed in how ISL was used: references to children's own internal states were more common when playing the video game, and the characters' internal states more common when playing with the toy figures. These findings are discussed with reference to the format of the play activities affording different opportunities to discuss internal states.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1522-7227
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 24 February 2021
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 16:47

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