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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Games and the development of perspective taking
Author(s): Gillespie, Alex
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Keywords: Games
Perspective taking
Social interaction
Self-actualization (Psychology)
Issue Date: Apr-2006
Date Deposited: 22-Jan-2009
Citation: Gillespie A (2006) Games and the development of perspective taking. Human Development, 49 (2), pp. 87-92.
Abstract: It is widely acknowledged that perspective taking is fundamental to the development of the self, the development of the individual’s ability to interact meaningfully with other people and to the successful functioning of society. Attempts to articulate the mechanisms underlying perspective taking have relied upon internal cognitive mechanisms; the child can imitate (or internally simulate) the perspective of others by virtue of identifying with the other or internalising the perspective of the other. However, as Martin (200?) argues, any explanation relying solely upon cognitive mechanisms is unsatisfying and potentially circular: it assumes, as an internal ability, that which the theory is meant to explain. A satisfactory explanation must have recourse to social interaction; either to the interaction context in which the innate ability was selected for or to the social interactions that extend these innate, but very rudimentary abilities, into elaborate forms of perspective taking. To this end, Martin (200?) makes two contributions, firstly, he uses Mead to identify one type of social interaction that may be particularly important for the development of perspective taking, and secondly, he proposes a program of research that will differentiate this theory from alternative theories. I will expand upon each of these contributions in turn, firstly drawing out ‘position exchange’ as a novel dimension of social interaction, and secondly, illustrating why Martin’s suggested research should study the children’s game of hide-and-seek.
DOI Link: 10.1159/000091334
Rights: Published in Human Developement. Copyright Karger.

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