Drawings as indicators of emotion

Early research into children’s drawings as indicators of emotion was heavily influenced by the psychoanalytic tradition (Hammer, 1958; Koppitz, 1966). Criticism has been levied at the use of drawings as a projective measure of children’s internal state (please see the clinical and therapeutic uses of children’s drawings section). In response to this, more recent research has developed a systematic experimental approach examining the reliability and validity of inferring children’s positive and or negative affect towards the figures they draw on the basis of a range of features such as figure size (Burkitt, Barrett & Davis, 2009) or colour use (Burkitt, Barrett & Davis, 2003; Jue & Kwon, 2013).

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