Children’s Application of Theory of Mind in Reasoning and Language

Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17 (4):417-442 (2008)
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Abstract

Many social situations require a mental model of the knowledge, beliefs, goals, and intentions of others: a Theory of Mind (ToM). If a person can reason about other people’s beliefs about his own beliefs or intentions, he is demonstrating second-order ToM reasoning. A standard task to test second-order ToM reasoning is the second-order false belief task. A different approach to investigating ToM reasoning is through its application in a strategic game. Another task that is believed to involve the application of second-order ToM is the comprehension of sentences that the hearer can only understand by considering the speaker’s alternatives. In this study we tested 40 children between 8 and 10 years old and 27 adult controls on (adaptations of) the three tasks mentioned above: the false belief task, a strategic game, and a sentence comprehension task. The results show interesting differences between adults and children, between the three tasks, and between this study and previous research.

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References found in this work

Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & G. Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.
Logic and Conversation.H. Paul Grice - 1975 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 47.
Logic and Conversation.H. P. Grice - 1975 - In Donald Davidson & Gilbert Harman (eds.), The Logic of Grammar. Encino, CA: pp. 64-75.
Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & Guy Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (4):515-526.

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