Monday, April 12, 2010

An "imaginary friend" can be a comfort

According psychologist, Dr. Evan Kidd at Melbourne's La Trobe University, children with imaginary friends are better at learning to communicate than other children because they have a lot of practice at inventing interactions with their friends, which helps them improve their conversational skills.

Dr. Kidd and his colleague Anna Roby explored the hidden world of imaginary companions in a study which involved 44 children, 22 of which had imaginary friends in an attempt to understand the benefits.

The study found that the 22 children who had imaginary friends were better able to get their point across than were children of the same age who did not have an imaginary friend - Dr. Kidd says these children are in charge of both sides of the conversation so have a lot of practice at inventing interactions between their imaginary friends and themselves and this is what facilitates the development of their conversational skills.

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