Brown Bag Talk: Individual Differences in Preschool Children’s Social Cognitive Development

Friday, April 15, 2016
Deniz Tahiroğlu, PhD


15 April 2016 (Friday) - 15.00

Psychology Department Building – Seminar Room


Deniz Tahiroğlu, PhD

Özyeğin University



Individual Differences in Preschool Children’s Social Cognitive Development


Preschool period is a time of rapid cognitive and social development. In my work I try to understand individual differences in preschool children’s social-cognitive skills.  In this talk, I will first briefly go over some studies I have conducted on individual differences in children’s theory of mind. Then, I will discuss my on-going research project in which we are investigating the correlates of children’s pretend play behaviors. Previous literature reveals that pretend play is related to many important developments during preschool period, such as theory of mind, social skills, executive functioning, and creativity. Cross-cultural research, although limited to a few studies, suggests some differences in the frequency of pretend play as well as the correlates of this kind of play in different cultures (e.g., the gains associated with pretend play are mainly in social domain in Italian children whereas in American children, most of the gains are observed in cognitive domain). Although there are studies looking at the general play behaviors of Turkish children, there are not any studies systematically investigating the development of pretend play. In our current longitudinal study, we are examining children’s pretend play behaviors and their socio-cognitive development at two time points, one year apart.  I will be presenting preliminary results from our Wave-1 data, when children are between 3 and 5-years of age.