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Seventeen-month-olds appeal to false beliefs to interpret others' referential communication

Southgate, Victoria and Chevallier, C. and Csibra, Gergely (2010) Seventeen-month-olds appeal to false beliefs to interpret others' referential communication. Developmental Science 13 (6), pp. 907-912. ISSN 1363-755X.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00946.x

Abstract

Recent studies have demonstrated infants' pragmatic abilities for resolving the referential ambiguity of non-verbal communicative gestures, and for inferring the intended meaning of a communicator's utterances. These abilities are difficult to reconcile with the view that it is not until around 4 years that children can reason about the internal mental states of others. In the current study, we tested whether 17-month-old infants are able to track the status of a communicator's epistemic state and use this to infer what she intends to refer to. Our results show that manipulating whether or not a communicator has a false belief leads infants to different interpretations of the same communicative act, and demonstrate early mental state attribution in a pragmatic context.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2011 09:40
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:18
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2350

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