1. Iaevich
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    Iaevich Member

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    Children's preconceptions

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Iaevich, Jan 30, 2009.

    Hi All

    I'm trying to do some research on popular misconceptions that children have (e.g. the sun being very close to the earth, kings having purple blood, children falling through the cracks in the paving stones when they tread on them etc).

    If anyone knows about any of the above, and could drop a quick note in this thread, that would be great. Or if anyone knows of anything else, that would be brilliant too. Ideally though, if I could be pointed in the direction of a decent internet resource on this, that would be best. Haven't been able to find anything in my googling!

    Cheers

    I
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There's a time component to this too. Kids today are a bit more savvy about such things than a few decades ago. For all the evils attributed to television, it has made children more knowledgeable about the real world.

    There used to be a television show hosted by Art Linkletter back in the 1960s, Kids Say the Darndest Things. It was a little like the current Tonight Show's Jaywalking segment, except it was little kids answering the questions. And because it was little kids, itg was cute rather than dismaying.

    On a recent Jaywalking segment, the child of two respondents that did rather poorly answered the same questions correctly and without hesitation.

    Do you know any current kindergarten or first grade teachers? They would probably be your best source of information. Unless, of course, you can surround yourself with kids for a few months and really listen to what they have to say.
     
  4. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    Kids are known to have very particular misconceptions. I have noticed, most misconceptions revolve around things that are abstractions. For example, judging time is particularly difficult. Ask a kid, "How long would it take to drive to grandmas?" You could very well get an answer in days or seconds, as opposed to the actual 30 min.

    Misconceptions also tend to creep up in terms of interpersonal relationships. That’s why you can have kids fist fight in the morning and be best friends in the afternoon.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    The only one I could think of off the top of my head is that if you play with fire, you'll wet the bed. My mom taught me that - became a self-fulfilling prophecy! :D

    Anyway, here's a link to "I used to believe" the Childhood Beliefs site:

    http://www.iusedtobelieve.com/

    Edit: And in glancing through this site, I had a funny thought...there were things I "believed in" as a kid, that I didn't believe in as an adult that were actually true: I thought fireflies were a Disney invention until I visited Virginia (no Fireflies in Washington State) and I thought the "milky way" was just sort of an expression, not something you could see, until I moved to Idaho where there was no light pollution. C.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    A teacher I had told me that her son, when he was four, believed he would be able to swat a fly if he snuck up on it with the swatter behind his back.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that show was based on his books of the same title, so the op can get those at a used book store or used on amazon for plenty of material... just has to be careful not to plagiarize the copyrighted material and paraphrase anything used from it...
     
  8. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    One that me and my brother had was that when you draw people, the arms come out of the heads. I still have drawings on my closet wall of people drawn in that fashion.

    Thinking of things I would have gotten from my parents because they didn't bother explaining it for real...

    the classic 'little people in the tv'

    If you go out in the cold without gloves on, your fingers will fall off, which though partially true was great exaggerated in my mind.

    praying before dinner cooled off the food.


    I've got so many more, but I can't think of them right now <_<
     
  9. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I can't really think of any at the moment and agree with Cogito's statement that a lot of these preconceptions that kids generally would possess have been destroyed by television. As someone with three younger sisters, I can tell you that most kids have a better idea about what and is what not possible although I do agree with the overexaggerated perception of time thing. Like Cogito said, I think the best route would be to ask some children you know and see what they believe. If I think of any, I'll be sure to post them.
     
  10. othman
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    othman Member

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    As you mentioned, a lot of little 'uns believe in all the bad luck, such as walking under ladders, cracks in pavement, black cats, the lot.

    One of the beliefs I remember I had, though for the life of my I can't work out why/how, is that there was a ladder to the nearest star. Not an elevator, but a ladder that right up to a star. It would be a tiring climb but would only take an hour or so ... weird.
     
  11. Iaevich
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    Iaevich Member

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    Thanks guys - the link to the website on children's beliefs is great... thank you!
     

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