The relationship between executive functions and fantasy orientation
This study explored whether there were developmental benefits to being fantasy-oriented. Past research reveals that around 3 years old, children begin to develop executive functions, such as attentional shift, working memory, cognitive inhibitory control, and behavioral inhibitory control. Simultaneously, children develop an understanding of the difference between fantasy and reality, with some children developing a strong preference towards fantastical play and thinking. One hundred and six preschoolers were given a battery of executive function and fantasy orientation measures during two interviews with an experimenter, in addition to collecting parent and teacher questionnaires. The relationship between children's executive function performance and fantasy orientation development was examined to explore if any developmental benefits exist with being fantasy-oriented. Results suggested that there might be specific developmental benefits to being a high fantasy-oriented child, such as better behavioral inhibition skills and working memory.