The effect of emotions on children’s ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy

Mihaela Boza, Roxana Ababei

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The aim of the present research is to study the effects of emotions on children’s ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. We studied the ability to differentiate real and fantastic events presented in images depicting a happy, sad, neutral and angry emotion. We also investigated the emotion felt by the participants when looking at the images. The results show that girls make a better distinction between reality and fantasy than boys, and that real events are easier to recognize than fantastic events. The participants express a more positive emotion for real events than for fantastic events. Happy and neutral events make participants experience a more positive emotion than sad and angry ones. The results show that preschool children make a distinction between positive and negative emotions. Although evidence concerning reality/fantasy distinction in children is clear, children find it more difficult to distinguish between emotional reality and emotional fantasy.

reality fantasy distinction, emotion recognition, emotional reality, emotional fantasy, emotion intensity

Mihaela Boza – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania E-mail: miaboza@uaic.ro

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