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Simplifying second-order belief attribution: what facilitates children's performance on measures of conceptual understanding?

Coull, Greig J., Leekam, Susan R. and Bennett, Mark R. 2006. Simplifying second-order belief attribution: what facilitates children's performance on measures of conceptual understanding? Social Development 15 (3) , pp. 548-563. 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2006.00340.x

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Abstract

This study investigated how 4- to 7-year-old children’s second-order belief attribution might be facilitated by either reducing information processing or varying the sequence of task questions. In Experiment 1, compared with Perner and Wimmer’s (1985) original second-order false-belief task, a new task with reduced information-processing demands promoted better second-order reasoning. In Experiment 2, half the stories included a second-order ignorance question before a second-order belief question. The ignorance question promoted second-order belief understanding, superseding the improvement induced by lowered processing demands. Together, the findings suggest that second-order belief performance can be facilitated if children focus on the concept of ignorance during the sequence of questioning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: theory of mind; second-order beliefs; second-order ignorance; development
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0961-205X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/32233

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