Congratulations to the 2019-2020 CARP winner:

Julia Culhane


Julia in Dr. Van Reet’s KidThnk Lab.

Julia in Dr. Van Reet’s KidThnk Lab.

Project Summary

This project’s purpose is to analyze young children’s preference in problem solving when encountering problems that are either magical or realistic. An example of a magical problem could be the fear of a mean monster. A realistic problem example could be the fear of a mean teacher. In a laboratory setting, children will be presented with a total of 8 illustrated stories that present either imaginary or real problems of emotional or neutral content. Emotional content will elicit positive or negative emotions, while neutral content will elicit no emotional response. The participants will choose between two options to solve the problem presented in the story. The two solutions will either be magical or realistic. Additionally, parents will complete an online survey . Survey questions will further explore the types of solutions that parents use in attempt to solve their child’s magical problems, while also inquiring if a realistic or magical solution was better accepted as an appropriate solution by the child. Ultimately, the project will seek to answer the following questions: Do children prefer magical solutions to magical problems? Does emotional content affect what type of solution children prefer? Does this change with age and development?