The kids were so far away from being who they could become, you could imagine them being anything.
There was a tendency to generalize wildly from personal experience.
"People always thought their own experience was typical when it wasn't."
There was a bias towards what someone just did - which might not be what they could do.
There was a delusion of seeing what you just saw, or thought you had seen.
The mind played tricks to create an illusion of reality.