ERIC Number: ED336184
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-18
Reference Count: 0
From Anticipation to Reflection: Biological, Cognitive and Social Underpinnings of Children's Understanding of Intentionality.
Johnson, Carl N.
This paper discusses factors that relate to the development of children's theory of mind. Cognitive and biosocial views of the development of theory of mind are distinquished. The paper maintains that all cultures recognize the intentional personhood of children in the first two years, though they vary in their methods of dealing with this personhood. In support of this claim, a study of the similarities and differences in the ways Western white middle-class parents and Samoan parents treat infants is cited. Some of the differences in socialization involve the ways cultures interpret subjective mental states. These interpretations are discussed in two ways. First, the role of social experience in the transformation from prereflective experience to reflective understanding of mental states is considered. The factors of children's experience of conflict between their intentions and others' intentions, and the role of caretaking adults, are discussed. Second, the structure of prereflective experience is discussed. Topics include the child's use of "no"; the development of a sense of self; and the role of bodily experience in the organization of higher order concepts. A list of 21 references is provided. (BC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Body Awareness; Cultural Universals
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).