Cognition, ( ISI ), Volume (100), Year (2006-2) , Pages (343-368)

Title : Competence and performance in belief-desire reasoning across two cultures: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about false belief?” ( Competence and performance in belief-desire reasoning across two cultures: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about false belief )

Authors: Seyed Amir Amin Yazdi , Tim P. Germanb , Margaret Anne Defeyter , Michael Siegal ,

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A recent meta-analysis of false belief task performance (Wellman, H.M., Cross, D., & Watson, J. (2001). Meta-analysis of theory mind development: The truth about false-belief. Child Development, 72, 655–684) confirmed that there is change in false belief task performance across the 3-5 year age range. The analysis identified several ‘performance’ factors that influence task success, including manipulations that highlight the salience of the initial belief content (e.g. by asking where Sally will look first for the marble). Because a proportion of variance in performance remained unexplained even when identified performance factors were controlled for, the authors concluded that children’s improvement is the result of conceptual change. Further, the analysis showed that manipulations such as look first improve performance only in children who are in the older part of the 3-5 year range, and thus plausibly operating with a ‘transitional’ theory of mind. Here, we present three studies systematically investigating the ‘look first’ manipulation which showed that: i) the advantage for the look first question can be demonstrated in children across different cultures, ii) look first has an effect that is additive to the improvement with age; there is no interaction such that older children gain more benefit from younger children, iii) performance in younger children can be, but is not always, elevated to levels that are statistically above ‘chance. These results are discussed in terms of models of belief-desire reasoning in which both conceptual competence and performance factors play central roles.

Keywords

, Belief, desire reasoning; Theory of mind; Competence, performance; Theory–theory;
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@article{paperid:102,
author = {Amin Yazdi, Seyed Amir and Tim P. Germanb and Margaret Anne Defeyter and Michael Siegal},
title = {Competence and performance in belief-desire reasoning across two cultures: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about false belief?”},
journal = {Cognition},
year = {2006},
volume = {100},
month = {February},
issn = {0010-0277},
pages = {343--368},
numpages = {25},
keywords = {Belief-desire reasoning; Theory of mind; Competence-performance; Theory–theory; Look-first; Modularity},
}

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%0 Journal Article
%T Competence and performance in belief-desire reasoning across two cultures: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about false belief?”
%A Amin Yazdi, Seyed Amir
%A Tim P. Germanb
%A Margaret Anne Defeyter
%A Michael Siegal
%J Cognition
%@ 0010-0277
%D 2006

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