Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Essential ChildOrigins of Essentialism in Everyday Thought$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Susan A. Gelman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195154061

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154061.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 March 2021

What Parents Say—and Do Not Say—about Essences

What Parents Say—and Do Not Say—about Essences

(p.155) Chapter 7 What Parents Say—and Do Not Say—about Essences
The Essential Child

Susan A. Gelman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

From an empiricist view, children learn about essences by observation, either direct or indirect — including via the stories told by their parents. This view is appealing in many respects, particularly since children believe many other sorts of surprising things (the existence of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, for instance) because they are told to and they are trusting. Also, if parents transmit these beliefs to children directly, then we do not have to grapple with the disquieting implications of the possibility that children are somehow biased in constructing stereotypes. However, not all stories told to children are essentialist. The input that children hear is more complicated, and the acquisitional account is correspondingly more interesting. This chapter details a systematic investigation about what parents say about essences — and what they do not say.

Keywords:   essentialism, children, parents, essences, child psychology, perceptual information, language

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .