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Effects of different emotion terms on the size and colour of children's drawings

Burkitt, E, Barrett, MD and Davis, A (2009) Effects of different emotion terms on the size and colour of children's drawings International Journal of Art Therapy, 14. 74 - 84. ISSN 1745-4832

IJAT_Burkitt_et_al_(2009)_Barret_journalarticle-embargo.pdf - Accepted Version

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Recent studies have shown that, when an affective characterisation is given to a topic, children adjust the size and colour of those topics in their drawings: children increase the size of drawings of topics characterised as “nice”, do not always decrease the size of topics characterised as “nasty”, and use differential colouring systematically to distinguish between “nice” and “nasty” topics in their drawings (Burkitt, Barrett, Davis, 2003a, 2003b, 2004). The present experiment was designed to examine whether these specific effects only occur with the terms “nice” and nasty”, or whether they also occur with another pair of positive and negative terms, “happy” and “sad”. 102 4-7 year olds were divided into two groups and asked to draw either a baseline, “nice” and “nasty” man, or a baseline, “happy” and “sad” man. It was found that the valence of the characterisation (positive vs. negative), as well as the specific pair of words which was used, systematically influenced both the size and the colour of the children’s drawings. These results show the importance of understanding the exact emotions in question when interpreting children’s drawings on the basis of size and colour.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Maria Rodriguez-Marquez
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2010 14:16
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:39

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