Counterfactual Thinking

I haven’t quite gotten around to the write up about the AMAZING play symposium, so in the interim I am posting an article published by Smithsonian Magazine in 2012. It’s 3 years old and we’ve come somewhat further in our understanding of the benefits and value of play – but here they provide a developmental metric I hadn’t yet come across (at least not in these exact terms): “counterfactual thinking.”

Children playing pirates

Blend Images/Getty Images

Where does pretending come in? It relates to what philosophers call “counterfactual” thinking, like Einstein wondering what would happen if a train went at the speed of light.

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