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‘Twisted perspective’ in young children's drawings

Dziurawiec, S. and Deregowski, J.B. (1992) ‘Twisted perspective’ in young children's drawings. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 10 (1). pp. 35-49.

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In two experiments an attempt was made to determine young children's use of ‘typical’ outlines in their drawings of models. In the first experiment children aged 6, 8 and 10 years were asked to draw heads, bodies and tails of two animals, singly and in concordant and discordant combinations. It was expected that children would use ‘typical’ outlines and that this tendency would be stronger in the younger children. In addition, it was expected that children would adopt a drawing-by-parts strategy for the combinations, irrespective of actual viewpoint, resulting in ‘twisted perspective’. The data confirmed these predictions with the exception that there were no age effects. A second experiment, undertaken to resolve the ambiguity in the drawings of one of the model bodies, found that a model with more distinctive contour elicited more typical drawings. The results of the first experiment were strongly confirmed. The relationship of the findings to the phenomenon of size constancy is discussed. An enduring perceptual mechanism is proposed to account for the ‘distortions’ which were found.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 1992 The British Psychological Society
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