BBC Earth (Asia) - - Update -

What did they do?

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia had a group of chil­dren, aged be­tween four and six, pre­tend to be Bat­man. They then as­signed them a repet­i­tive task and told them it was im­por­tant. They en­cour­aged the chil­dren to con­cen­trate on the task but al­lowed them to take a break to play with an iPad when­ever they wanted.

What did they find?

When pre­tend­ing to be Bat­man, more than 30 per cent of the four-year-olds and more than 50 per cent of the six-year-olds spent sig­nif­i­cantly more time on the task. It’s un­clear whether this ef­fect was due to the fun as­pect as­so­ci­ated with pre­tend­ing to be Bat­man or the chil­dren iden­ti­fy­ing cer­tain traits, such as con­cen­tra­tion and per­se­ver­ance, with be­ing a su­per­hero.

Why did they do that?

With more re­search, the team hopes to de­ter­mine whether it is pos­si­ble to use role­play sce­nar­ios to teach young chil­dren valu­able life skills such as per­se­ver­ance.

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