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Journal Article

Citation

Cassidy KW. Dev. Psychol. 1998; 34(3): 503-511.

Affiliation

Department of Psychology/West, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania 19010, USA. kcassidy@brynmawr.edu

Copyright

(Copyright © 1998, American Psychological Association)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

9597360

Abstract

K. Bartsch and H. M. Wellman (1995) have suggested that 3-year-old children's preference to construe behavior in terms of desire may interfere with their ability to reason according to belief in standard false belief tasks. Other researchers have suggested that young children fail typical measures of theory of mind because they have a reality bias (e.g., P. Mitchell, 1994). Study 1 demonstrates that even young children are able to correctly attribute a false belief to an agent when that belief is about the status of a pretense. Study 2 shows that children find it easier to attribute a false belief when the desires of the agent are eliminated. However, Study 3 suggests that a reality bias also influences children's ability to consider beliefs. Implications for recent accounts of theory of mind development are discussed.


Language: en

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