The development of the child's understanding of other people.
thesisposted on 19.11.2015, 08:57 by Colin G. Rogers
The development of person perception in children aged 5--15 years is examined. The literature review reveals that young children relatively infrequently use dispositional Analysis of person perception suggests that restricted use of such terms follows from an inability to infer psychological states to others engaged in social interaction. The existing literature concerning young children's ability to make such inferences does not permit a clear evaluation of this Suggestion. The first two studies required children aged 5--10 to retell factual accounts of social interactions having been encouraged to infer intentions and other psychological states. While results varied between different interactions the older children generally made both a greater number of such inferences and such inferences constituted a greater proportion of their total retellings. However, younger children made less appropriate inferences, particularly to adults, under certain conditions and failed to fully utilise available information. The third study demonstrated that 5 year old children are less likely than 8 or 10 year olds to use information about others intentions to link together a series of actions. The fourth study examined the child's person perception skills in relation to the use made of social roles and the child's information processing skills. Various differences were associated with the child's age and sex and the age and role status of the person being judged. Generally, the strategies adopted by younger children were similar to, but simpler than, those adopted by older children. In conclusion the implications of these studies for past and future work on the development of person perception are considered. A discussion of future research possibilities is centered around an identification of three separate, but closely related areas of development---content, orientation and information processing.