Eighteen-month-olds understand false beliefs in an unexpected-contents task

Buttelmann, David; Over, Harriet; Carpenter, Malinda; Tomasello, Michael (2014). Eighteen-month-olds understand false beliefs in an unexpected-contents task. Journal of experimental child psychology, 119, pp. 120-126. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jecp.2013.10.002

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Recent studies suggest that infants understand that others can have false beliefs. However, most of these studies have used looking time measures, and the few that have used behavioral measures are all based on the change-of-location paradigm, leading to claims that infants might use behavioral rules instead of mental state understanding to pass these tests. We investigated infants’ false-belief reasoning using a different paradigm. In this unexpected-contents helping task, 18-month-olds were familiarized with boxes for blocks that contained blocks. When an experimenter subsequently reached for a box for blocks that now contained a spoon, infants based their choice of whether to give her a spoon or a block on her true or false belief about which object the block box contained. These results help to demonstrate the flexibility of infants’ false-belief understanding.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Buttelmann, David

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0022-0965

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

David Buttelmann

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2018 13:10

Last Modified:

18 Jun 2018 13:10

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jecp.2013.10.002

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.101121

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/101121

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