I really want to write that post-I’m-not-prepared-to-make, though, because there’s so clearly a Thing there, but I’ve never seen anyone discuss the exact thing I have in mind?
It’s something like this:
Little kids do “imaginative play” and that’s supposed to be all kinds of important to their learning and development.
That doesn’t actually stop at the age where elaborate imaginative play stops being common.
Kids stop acting out stories with their dolls and action figures etc., but they don’t stop using imaginary scenarios to work through ideas. We stop playing with dolls and then we immediately start writing fanfiction. Or constructing elaborate daydreams about our future spouses/jobs/etc. We always tell stories about ourselves in one way or another, and often, those stories are really important to how we understand ourselves.
So I guess what I mean is, the psychologists/child development people should talk to the philosophical writerly “we are a species of storytellers” people.