In Experiment 1, 4-, 5-, 8- and 11-year-old Japanese children (n=69) and adults (n=21) explained their reasons for bodily induced reactions (e.g. overeating leads to vomiting) and psychogenic bodily reactions (bodily outcomes originating in the mind, e.g. frustration leads to vomiting). Children gave vitalistic explanations, that is, explaining causal connections by referring to a vital force, in responses concerning bodily induced reactions, whereas adults typically gave these explanations in responses concerning psychogenic bodily reactions. In Experiment 2, 5-, 8- and 11-year-old children (n=96) and adults (n=24) explained bodily induced and psychogenic bodily reactions, and psychological behaviour, for example, that frustration leads to nail biting. As in Experiment 1, vitalistic explanations tended to be found for psychogenic tasks but were seldom found in either children's or adults' explanations of psychological behaviour. The findings suggest that with age vitalistic causality obtains cross mind-body implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas