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Análise Psicológica

Print version ISSN 0870-8231


RASGA, Célia  and  QUELHAS, Ana Cristina. O efeito de ordem temporal no pensamento contrafactual das crianças. Aná. Psicológica [online]. 2009, vol.27, n.1, pp.45-63. ISSN 0870-8231.

When adults think in a counterfactual way, about what might have been different in a random sequence of events, such as in the case of a cointossing game (heads or tails), they are influenced by the order in which these events take place, showing an effect of temporal order and thus attribute emotions, such as guilt (in the case of loss), to the last player. In this context we will present two experiments. In a first experiment we studied if the temporal order effect occurred in children, as well as the emotional judgments of sadness and guilt caused by this effect. And, moreover, we also wanted to know if this can be eliminated, as occurs in adults when the game is interrupted and then restarts from the beginning. We found that the effect of temporal order happens from 6 years old, but its reduction/elimination occurs only to 10 years of age, as expected, given the increased representational capacity of these children comparing to the younger. At the level of emotional trials, they differed over the ages. In a second experiment, we studied if the temporal order effect would take place in the children when of a positive result, as well as the emotional judgements of happiness and pride. We found that from early the children also show an effect of temporal order for beneficial results. At the level of the emotional judgments, this seems congruent with the temporal order effect. These results will be discussed in terms of his implications for the understanding of the development of the mental representations.

Keywords : Children; Counterfactual thinking; Emotions; Temporal order.

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