My imaginary friend

Research has shown that it isn’t such a bad thing for children to have imaginary friends or hear voices. While these are indicators of possible dysfunction in adults, it seems perfectly healthy and, indeed, common for children. This begs the question for the evolutionary psychologist of the imaginary friend’s function. Perhaps for isolated or shy children it allows them to practice their social skills in the privacy of their own heads where mistakes can be made without damaging consequences.

> Via Psycport

About the author

Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 7 September 2004

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