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What influences our ability to make fantasy-reality judgments?

Laville, A. (2017) What influences our ability to make fantasy-reality judgments? PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

The ability to make reality-status judgments requires an individual to distinguish between what is real and what is fantasy. While researchers have explored how this ability develops in typically developing (TD) children and adults, there is a paucity of literature that examines factors that influence the ability to make reality-status judgments. However, new directions include the role of affect, context, evidence, language ability and false-belief These new directions will be explored in TD children and adults across 5 experiments. Furthermore, when considering the role of false-belief, this raises the question ofhow children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who have difficulty in understanding false-beliefs, make reality-status judgments. In an exploratory experiment, we aim to see whether children with ASD make reality-status judgments differently to TD children. Our research aims to explore what influences how TD children, children with ASD and adults make reality¬status judgments. Across 6 experiments we showed that affect, evidence and context (both local and between- and within-world) all play a role in children's reality-status judgments that show clear developmental progression. In one of the experiments, we additionally show that children with ASD show similar patterns of response to matched TD children, though they differ in their justifications. The implications of these findings are a) the potential role of affect in children's decision-making and b) the use of context and evidence as part of children's early years learning.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:McCloy, R. and Knott, F.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:74985
Date on Title Page:2016

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