Paper of potential interest

From: Artin Goncu (
Date: Mon Mar 07 2005 - 15:00:04 PST

Hi All:
Anthony Perone and I have a new paper entitled "Pretend play as a life-sapn
activity." The abstract is below, and the paper is available electronically.
If you like a copy, please let me know of the net. Thanks, Artin
Arguing against the dominant developmental theories (e.g., Piaget, 1945;
Vygotsky, 1978) stating that pretend play is limited to early childhood, we
illustrate that pretend play is an adaptive human activity of adulthood as well
as childhood. We advance this argument on three levels. First, we offer an
analysis of why the discipline of developmental psychology in the Western world
considered play only as an activity of childhood by neglecting to explore
whether or how pretend play exists during adulthood. Second, we discuss the
similarities between adult improvisational theater and children’s pretend play
in illustrating our thesis that pretend continues to exist during adulthood.
In this discussion, we focus on similarities on the definitions, psychological
origins, social functions, and developmental consequences of pretend play and
adult improvisation. Finally, we end the article with educational implications
of conceptualizing pretend play as a life-span activity and offer directions
for future research.

Artin Goncu, Ph.D
College of Education M/C 147
University of Illinois at Chicago
1040 W. Harrison St.,
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-5259
Fax (312) 996-6400

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