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date: 14 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

We take an evolutionary developmental perspective to examine the development of and sex differences in object-oriented play and tool use and the relationship between the two. We propose that children have intuitive notions about the physical world and evolved biases to interact with objects, both of which facilitate object-oriented play. Through the experience gained in object play, children begin to understand how objects can be used as tools to achieve goals and solve problems. Although complex tool use is a distinct characteristic of humans, a wide range of other species, including many primates, engage in simpler forms of tool use. While many of these instances are probably cases of convergent evolution, the existence of tool use in other great apes suggests a common root for our basic tool-use abilities.

Keywords: Object-oriented play, tool use, sex differences, social learning, evolutionary developmental psychology, affordances, design stance

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