Pretend play: Is it metarepresentational?

C Jarrold, P Carruthers, PK Smith, J Boucher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

71 Citations (Scopus)


Examines the metarepresentational (MR) status of pretense. Three theoretical approaches for and against applying the term MR to the psychological processes involved in pretense are reviewed: A. M. Leslie's (1987) pretense as MR, J. Perner's (1988, 1991) pretense as suppositional, and P. L. Harris' (1991) pretense as a precursor of simulation. The empirical evidence from 3 domains is reviewed: normal pretend play development, normal theory of mind development, and the ability of children with autism to engage in pretense. It is argued that non-MR accounts explain individual pretense and early mutual pretense adequately and parsimoniously. Attention to the diverse nature of individual and mutual pretend play and the development of a framework for a more cognitive analysis of the developmental trends in this behavior are suggested. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved).
Translated title of the contributionPretend play: Is it metarepresentational?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445 - 468
Number of pages24
JournalMind and Language
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994

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