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Temas em Psicologia

versão impressa ISSN 1413-389X


SOUZA, Maria Thereza Costa Coelho de. Children symbolisms and the magic of tales: a piagetian understanding. Temas psicol. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.2, pp.327-336. ISSN 1413-389X.

The aim of this paper is to discuss children's interpretations of popular tales according to Piaget's theory. It is known that psychoanalysis gives great importance to symbolization and symbols, which allows people to find meanings to feelings, life situations and, mainly for children, distresses linked to development. This would be the relief provided by fairy tales. When Piaget studied how children perceive reality, he pointed out the magic-phenomenalistic thought, which interferes on children's beliefs and understanding of magic in the domain of interpretations performed by younger children. Researches regarding interpretations of popular fairy tales, conducted with children from 4 to 11 years of age, showed that younger children admitted, without effort, magical plots and valued fictional aspects, while older children expressed the real impossibility for magical situations and valued real aspects. These elements can be associated to their level of psychological development. The understanding of magic also seems to be influenced by the cultural context of the groups in which children live, as shown in a research carried out in cooperation with the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, with children of nine years of age.

Palavras-chave : Magic; Piaget; Culture; Emotions.

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