Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kids' books featuring animals with human traits lead to less learning of natural world

Date:
March 25, 2014
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
A new study has found that kids' books featuring animals with human characteristics not only lead to less factual learning but also influence children's reasoning about animals. Researchers also found that young readers are more likely to attribute human behaviors and emotions to animals when exposed to books with anthropomorphized animals than books depicting animals realistically.

A new study by University of Toronto researchers has found that kids' books featuring animals with human characteristics not only lead to less factual learning but also influence children's reasoning about animals.

Researchers also found that young readers are more likely to attribute human behaviors and emotions to animals when exposed to books with anthropomorphized animals than books depicting animals realistically.

"Books that portray animals realistically lead to more learning and more accurate biological understanding," says lead author Patricia Ganea, Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto's Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development. "We were surprised to find that even the older children in our study were sensitive to the anthropocentric portrayals of animals in the books and attributed more human characteristics to animals after being exposed to fantastical books than after being exposed to realistic books."

This study has implications for the type of books adults use to teach children about the real world. The researchers advise parents and teachers to consider using a variety of informational and nonfiction books, and to use factual language when describing the biological world to young children.

The study was recently published in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patricia A. Ganea, Caitlin F. Canfield, Kadria Simons and Tommy Chou. Do cavies talk?: The effect of anthropomorphic books on children's knowledge about animals. Frontiers in Psychology, March 2014 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00283

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Kids' books featuring animals with human traits lead to less learning of natural world." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325113240.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2014, March 25). Kids' books featuring animals with human traits lead to less learning of natural world. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325113240.htm
University of Toronto. "Kids' books featuring animals with human traits lead to less learning of natural world." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325113240.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins