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Pretense refers to actions that are nonliteral and performed in an “as if” manner. Pretense is most commonly thought of as pretend or symbolic play, but it also can refer to the act of having something stand for or represent something else. According to psychologist Greta Fein, there are five characteristics of pretense: (1) behaviors are carried out without the appropriate materials or context; (2) behaviors are not done to achieve their normal outcome; (3) inanimate objects can be acted upon as if they were animate; (4) objects or gestures can be substituted for others; and (5) the pretender can carry out an action that is usually performed by another person or object. In addition to defining pretense, many researchers have proposed theories on the ...

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