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    Development of second order Theory of Mind: assessment of environmental influences using a dynamic system approach

    Papera, Massimiliano and Richards, Anne and van Geert, P. and Valentini, C. (2018) Development of second order Theory of Mind: assessment of environmental influences using a dynamic system approach. International Journal of Behavioral Development , ISSN 0165-0254. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Theory of Mind (ToM) refers to the ability to attribute beliefs to oneself and others. The present study used a dynamic systems approach to assess how environment may affect the development of second-order ToM (e.g., John knows that Mary knows that he went out yesterday). ToM is divided into two major dimensions: comprehension (i.e., to understand a mental state) and prediction (i.e., to predict someone else’s future behaviour or mental state). Two age groups were assessed: 5-6 and 10-11 years old children. In both age groups, participants were assigned to a condition of “Support” (help provided) or “Non-Support” (help not provided). Results show that second-order ToM follows a dynamic growth law that depends on support. Support facilitates performance in ToM production (i.e., to predict one’s future behaviour) for both the 5-6 and 10-11 year old children. Interestingly, the 5-6 year olds who received support presented an increase in the second-order prediction performance at the expense of the second-order comprehension, suggesting that a temporary dip in comprehension performance may facilitate the development of mental rules to predict one’s future behaviour.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Anne Richards
    Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2019 14:06
    Last Modified: 31 Jul 2019 03:12
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/25824

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