2012 Conference on Neuroesthetics
Professor Anthony Pellegrini is in the Educational Psychology department at University of Minnesota. His research and teaching are generally concerned with children’s development and include specific interests in children’s play, children's sex segregation, social dominance, and aggression. He also has methodological interests in direct behavioral observations. In his lab students are currently studying preschool children's social dominance, sex segregation, and children’s uses of objects in play and as tools.
Awards and honors include: Fellow in APA (Educational and Developmental Psychology); Traveling Fellow of British Psychological Society; Fellow, National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy; NIH/Senior International Fellow; University of Georgia Creative Research Medal in Social Science. Spencer Foundation Graduate Student Mentor, 1999 and 2003.
Title of Talk: Object Use in Childhood: Development and Possible Functions
The ways in which children use objects is central to many theories of development, yet we lack systematic descriptions of the various ways in which objects are used across childhood. In this paper, I first describe the different forms of object use (i.e., exploration, construction, play, tool use, and tool making) for males and females in childhood, then establish time budgets for each type of object use. Second, I make functional inferences about each form of object use and the social contexts in which each is embedded. I suggest that putative functions of object play, specifically, may be related to children’s discovery of novel uses for objects and peer group centrality.