Yale University's Mind and Development Lab is conducting a study on preschoolers at Westport Weston Cooperative Nursery School on how these children understand the distinction between fiction and reality.

The study, led by developmental psychologist Thalia R. Goldstein, a post-doctoral fellow at Yale, is examining how the children understand the reality of what they see on television, in movies and in their own pretend play, according to a release from the nursery school.

Children can use pretend play to "safely" practice different situations without real world consequences, said Goldstein, who expects to have some study results by next summer.

Researchers at the lab study how young children and adults think and reason about the world around them in an effort to better understand children's social and moral development and how the way they interpret others may change as the children grow older, the release states.