Children's mental models of prenatal development

Tessa J.P. van Schijndel, Sara E. van Es, Rooske K. Franse, Bianca M.C.W. van Bers, Maartje E.J. Raijmakers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Children's thinking about prenatal development requires reasoning about change that cannot be observed directly. How do children gain knowledge about this topic? Do children have mental models or is their knowledge fragmented? In Experiment 1, results of a forced-choice questionnaire about prenatal development (6- to 13-year-olds; N = 317) indicated that children do have a variety of coherent, grade-related, theories about early shape of the fetus, but not about bodily functions. Coherence of the mental models was enhanced by a preceding generative task. Children's mental models were in agreement with reasoning about natural transformations (Rosengren et al., 1991) and constraints in representational flexibility (Karmiloff-Smith, 1992). In Experiment 2, an open-question interview was administered (6- to 12-year-old children; N = 38). The interview resulted in grade-unrelated, incoherent responses. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of naïve biology and to the effects of different methodologies being used in the area of mental models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1835
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
Issue numberOctober
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Fingerprint

Interviews
Fetus
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Fragmented knowledge
  • Latent variable models
  • Mental models
  • Naïve biology
  • Prenatal development
  • Representational-redescription

Cite this

van Schijndel, T. J. P., van Es, S. E., Franse, R. K., van Bers, B. M. C. W., & Raijmakers, M. E. J. (2018). Children's mental models of prenatal development. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(October), 1-13. [1835]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01835
van Schijndel, Tessa J.P. ; van Es, Sara E. ; Franse, Rooske K. ; van Bers, Bianca M.C.W. ; Raijmakers, Maartje E.J. / Children's mental models of prenatal development. In: Frontiers in Psychology. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. October. pp. 1-13.
@article{85d3a0943afd46a3b89e8a6e3e071615,
title = "Children's mental models of prenatal development",
abstract = "Children's thinking about prenatal development requires reasoning about change that cannot be observed directly. How do children gain knowledge about this topic? Do children have mental models or is their knowledge fragmented? In Experiment 1, results of a forced-choice questionnaire about prenatal development (6- to 13-year-olds; N = 317) indicated that children do have a variety of coherent, grade-related, theories about early shape of the fetus, but not about bodily functions. Coherence of the mental models was enhanced by a preceding generative task. Children's mental models were in agreement with reasoning about natural transformations (Rosengren et al., 1991) and constraints in representational flexibility (Karmiloff-Smith, 1992). In Experiment 2, an open-question interview was administered (6- to 12-year-old children; N = 38). The interview resulted in grade-unrelated, incoherent responses. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of na{\"i}ve biology and to the effects of different methodologies being used in the area of mental models.",
keywords = "Fragmented knowledge, Latent variable models, Mental models, Na{\"i}ve biology, Prenatal development, Representational-redescription",
author = "{van Schijndel}, {Tessa J.P.} and {van Es}, {Sara E.} and Franse, {Rooske K.} and {van Bers}, {Bianca M.C.W.} and Raijmakers, {Maartje E.J.}",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01835",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
pages = "1--13",
journal = "Frontiers in Psychology",
issn = "1664-1078",
publisher = "Frontiers Media",
number = "October",

}

van Schijndel, TJP, van Es, SE, Franse, RK, van Bers, BMCW & Raijmakers, MEJ 2018, 'Children's mental models of prenatal development' Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 9, no. October, 1835, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01835

Children's mental models of prenatal development. / van Schijndel, Tessa J.P.; van Es, Sara E.; Franse, Rooske K.; van Bers, Bianca M.C.W.; Raijmakers, Maartje E.J.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 9, No. October, 1835, 01.10.2018, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Children's mental models of prenatal development

AU - van Schijndel, Tessa J.P.

AU - van Es, Sara E.

AU - Franse, Rooske K.

AU - van Bers, Bianca M.C.W.

AU - Raijmakers, Maartje E.J.

PY - 2018/10/1

Y1 - 2018/10/1

N2 - Children's thinking about prenatal development requires reasoning about change that cannot be observed directly. How do children gain knowledge about this topic? Do children have mental models or is their knowledge fragmented? In Experiment 1, results of a forced-choice questionnaire about prenatal development (6- to 13-year-olds; N = 317) indicated that children do have a variety of coherent, grade-related, theories about early shape of the fetus, but not about bodily functions. Coherence of the mental models was enhanced by a preceding generative task. Children's mental models were in agreement with reasoning about natural transformations (Rosengren et al., 1991) and constraints in representational flexibility (Karmiloff-Smith, 1992). In Experiment 2, an open-question interview was administered (6- to 12-year-old children; N = 38). The interview resulted in grade-unrelated, incoherent responses. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of naïve biology and to the effects of different methodologies being used in the area of mental models.

AB - Children's thinking about prenatal development requires reasoning about change that cannot be observed directly. How do children gain knowledge about this topic? Do children have mental models or is their knowledge fragmented? In Experiment 1, results of a forced-choice questionnaire about prenatal development (6- to 13-year-olds; N = 317) indicated that children do have a variety of coherent, grade-related, theories about early shape of the fetus, but not about bodily functions. Coherence of the mental models was enhanced by a preceding generative task. Children's mental models were in agreement with reasoning about natural transformations (Rosengren et al., 1991) and constraints in representational flexibility (Karmiloff-Smith, 1992). In Experiment 2, an open-question interview was administered (6- to 12-year-old children; N = 38). The interview resulted in grade-unrelated, incoherent responses. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of naïve biology and to the effects of different methodologies being used in the area of mental models.

KW - Fragmented knowledge

KW - Latent variable models

KW - Mental models

KW - Naïve biology

KW - Prenatal development

KW - Representational-redescription

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85054245898&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85054245898&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01835

DO - 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01835

M3 - Article

VL - 9

SP - 1

EP - 13

JO - Frontiers in Psychology

JF - Frontiers in Psychology

SN - 1664-1078

IS - October

M1 - 1835

ER -

van Schijndel TJP, van Es SE, Franse RK, van Bers BMCW, Raijmakers MEJ. Children's mental models of prenatal development. Frontiers in Psychology. 2018 Oct 1;9(October):1-13. 1835. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01835