Intellectual realism in children's drawings of cubes


Phillips W, Hobbs SB & Pratt FR (1978) Intellectual realism in children's drawings of cubes. Cognition, 6 (1), pp. 15-33.

Ninety-six children copied simple line drawings of perspective views of cubes and similar designs unlikely to be seen as representing objects. The views of cubes were copied much less accurately than the non-object patterns, and the errors made in copying the cubes involved replacement of properties specific to the single perspective view by properties more appropriate to the object itself. Some copies were drawn with the child continually looking at the model and unable to see his own copy, others were drawn in the normal way. Copies made in the former way were more accurate, but even under these conditions cubes were copied less accurately than the non-object patterns. The disadvantage of object pictures, as far as literal copying accuracy is concerned, was still present at 9 1/2 years of age, but was less than at 7 1/2. Two possible explanations are discussed. One is in terms of computational complexity, the other in terms of graphic motor schema. On the basis of the drawings obtained a few suggestions are made about the content and development of the data-structures for cubes.

Cognition: Volume 6, Issue 1

Publication date31/03/1978