ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Expert Says Believing in Santa Can Benefit Children

Can you remember what it was like to be 5 years old and eagerly awaiting Santa Claus’ arrival on Christmas Eve?

Perhaps you weren’t fully convinced that the man with the snow white beard, rosy cheeks and big, round belly dressed in red actually existed; nonetheless, chances are you still anticipated his visit.

Whether it be Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, superheroes, an imaginary friend or even monsters hiding under the bed, children benefit from believing in fictional characters, said Kayla Causey, a Cal State Fullerton psychology lecturer who specializes in cognitive development.

She recently contributed to the sixth edition of the textbook “Children’s Thinking” about the development of children’s beliefs in fantasy characters.

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