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Four-Year-Olds' Understanding of "Pretend", "Forget", and "Know": Evidence for Propositional Operations

John Macnamara, Erica Baker and Chester L. Olson
Child Development
Vol. 47, No. 1 (Mar., 1976), pp. 62-70
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1128283
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128283
Page Count: 9
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Four-Year-Olds' Understanding of "Pretend", "Forget", and "Know": Evidence for Propositional Operations
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Abstract

These investigations deal with the ability of 4-year-olds to understand the propositional components (presuppositions and assertions) of semantically complex propositions and to deduce what such components together imply. Evidence of a substantial understanding of complex propositions is adduced. Evidence is also adduced that the children were able to perform propositional operations at the level of formal (or propositional) logic. It is argued that natural language is a particularly rich field in which to study the structure of intelligence in young children.

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