Affordable Access

deepdyve-link deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

The development of children's prelife reasoning: evidence from two cultures.

Authors
  • 1
  • 1 Boston University.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Child Development
1467-8624
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Volume
85
Issue
4
Pages
1617–1633
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12220
PMID: 24433260
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Two studies investigated children's reasoning about their mental and bodily states during the time prior to biological conception-"prelife." By exploring prelife beliefs in 5- to 12-year-olds (N = 283) from two distinct cultures (urban Ecuadorians, rural indigenous Shuar), the studies aimed to uncover children's untutored intuitions about the essential features of persons. Results showed that with age, children judged fewer mental and bodily states to be functional during prelife. However, children from both cultures continued to privilege the functionality of certain mental states (i.e., emotions, desires) relative to bodily states (i.e., biological, psychobiological, perceptual states). Results converge with afterlife research and suggest that there is an unlearned cognitive tendency to view emotions and desires as the eternal core of personhood.

Statistics

Seen <100 times