British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 13 Issue 4 (November 1995), Pages 321-432

Children's sensitivity to metaphorical expression of mood in line drawings (pages 335-346)

The present study examines the development of understanding of metaphorical expression of mood in line drawings. Participants ranging in age from 4 years to adult were tested firstly on their spontaneous use of expressed mood as criteria for matching scenes, and secondly, on their ability to recognize expressed mood when directly asked to do so. Whilst participants of all ages could recognize the appropriate moods in the drawings, most children made their selections in the matching task on the basis of subject matter with only adults predominantly matching on expressed mood. This progression from preoccupation with subject matter to attention to mood is consistent with Parsons' (1987) cognitive developmental account of the origins of aesthetic appreciation.

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