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Child Dev. 1997 Dec;68(6):991-1011.

Thinking about fantasy: are children fundamentally different thinkers and believers from adults?

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Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin 78712, USA.


Young children are often viewed as being unable to differentiate fantasy from reality. This article reviews research on both children's and adults' beliefs about fantasy as well as their tendency to engage in what is thought of as "magical thinking." It is suggested that children are not fundamentally different from adults in their ability to distinguish fantasy from reality: Both children and adults entertain fantastical beliefs and also engage in magical thinking. Suggestions are offered as to how children and adults may differ in this domain, and an agenda for future research is offered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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