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Paul L. Harris Reading Guide

Paul L. Harris Reading Guide - Reading Guide The Work of...

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Reading Guide: The Work of the Imagination , Paul L. Harris. Chapter 1 1. Describe and give some examples of what Bleuler termed “autistic thinking”? 2. Where did “autistic thinking”/primary process fit in the course of development as described by Freud, Bleuler, Piaget and Vygotsky? 3 . What is Harris’ stance, and why does he think so? What does Harris think are 3 important contributions it makes to development? Chapter 2 1. Why does Harris characterize Piaget’s view of pretense as negative? 2. What 4 key features of joint pretense are, Harris says, understood by 2-year-olds? 3. What 3 aspects of pretend stipulations does Harris say 2-year olds understand? 4. Describe the “monkey and talcum powder” experiment depicted in figure 2.1. What do the results of this study tell us about 2-year-olds understanding of causality in the pretend world? Consider the task where children are shown a duck puppet who “pours” a substance into a bowl and then proceeds to “feed” a toy horse from the bowl with a spoon. What does children’s response in this task add to what we learned from the monkey and talcum powder task? If 2- year-olds are asked to describe what happened in this episode, would they give a literal description or a pretend description? What caveats does Harris list about this series of studies? 5. What is the theoretical description that Harris provides of HOW children can engage in joint pretense? 6. To what extent does Harris believe that children intend to represent real world events in pretense? To what extent does Harris believe that children distort reality in pretense? Chapter 3 1. Harris’ definition of role play includes what 3 vehicles? Do these apply to imaginary companions? How do children show that they are acting from another’s point of view in role play? 2. What is the difference between pretend play as a script, vs. a simulation? 3. What is the proposal by Taylor about the relationship between pretend play and false belief understanding, and what objections does Harris note? What alternative account does Harris give of the link between role play and FB? 4. What different empirical prediction do these two accounts of the relationship between pretend play and FB make? How do the results of studies by Astington & Jenkins, Schwebel et al. relate to these predictions? How does the study by Youngblade & Dunn address the direction of effects problem? 5. What reasons are there to believe that both environmental support and individual inclination contribute to individual differences in pretend play? 6. What evidence does Harris use to suggest that adults and children engage a fictional world from the point of view of a character in the narrative? What implications does that have for the view of preschoolers as egocentric?
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Chapter 4 1. What are two reasons young children may children react emotionally to imagined events 2. Harris presents two pieces of evidence to undermine the realist hypothesis.
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