From imagination to innovation: The effect of pretend play on children's creativity

Patricia Gilholm (2011). From imagination to innovation: The effect of pretend play on children's creativity Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Patricia Gilholm
Thesis Title From imagination to innovation: The effect of pretend play on children's creativity
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Mark Nielsen
Total pages 76
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The present study investigated whether engaging in pretend play, a fundamental part of a child's development, would enhance children's creativity and innovation. Both pretend play and creativity involve the ability to combine ideas in novel ways and apply these ideas to the immediate environment. Thus pretend play may provide children with the opportunity to practice and develop the skills required for creative thought and behaviour. To test this hypothesis, thirty-seven pre-school aged girls were randomly assigned into a pretend play, functional play or control condition. Depending on their condition, children engaged in a 10 minute pretend play sequence, a functional play sequence, or no play before completing five creativity tasks. It was predicted that children in the pretend play condition would provide more novel and imaginative responses to the tasks than those in the functional play or control conditions. The results indicated that there were no significant differences in children's responses between the conditions for each of the five tasks. There was also a large amount of variability in children‟s responses for each task across all conditions. Furthermore, the tasks used to measure creativity were revealed to be unrelated. These results suggest that although creativity and innovation are highly valued, measuring these qualities can be challenging, due to the variability associated with creative performance. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.
Keyword Pretend play
Child development

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Created: Thu, 14 Jun 2012, 10:40:28 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology