Chapter

Play and the Development of Social Engagement: A Comparative Perspective

Sergio M. Pellis and Vivien C. Pellis

in The Development of Social Engagement

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195168716
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847853 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168716.003.0009

Series: Series in Affective Science

Play and the Development of Social Engagement: A Comparative Perspective

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Play has long been considered as either insignificant or irrelevant to normal behaviour development, or as important in the onset of normal behaviour development. Two fundamental factors that have caused this confusion about play are discussed in this chapter: the tendency for play to be defined as without immediate purpose, and the tendency of utilitarian and cognitive perspectives to focus on skills development. The model used in this chapter suggests that social play experience allows for modifying the stress-response system and emotional control generally. During play, juveniles realize the emotive value of certain events and that social interactions may involve pain and uncertainty. Animals with play experience have better control of how they react to a particular situation and are better able to give more subtle and graded responses to new social contexts.

Keywords: social engagement; social play; normal behaviour; social interactions; social behaviour

Chapter.  14449 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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