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ERIC Number: ED411984
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Young Children's Developing Understanding of Conceptual Perspective Taking.
Szarkowicz, Diane Louise
In an attempt to validate the findings of other researchers regarding the development of conceptual perspective taking, this study used Taylor's (1988) 2-tiered model to examine development of perspective taking among 40 3- to 5-year-olds. Participating were 22 males and 18 females from English-speaking backgrounds attending a preschool in Australia. Three theory-of-mind tasks were used, in which a hand puppet questioned children to determine the developmental sequence of Level 1 and Level 2 abilities. Level 1 (Basic) questions assessed whether children understood that perception could be a source of knowledge; Level 1 (Advanced) questions assessed whether they understood that a puppet character could have different interpretations of a situation based on the knowledge he received. Level 2 questions assessed whether children could demonstrate an understanding that the mind can misrepresent reality. Findings indicated that age was an important predictor of conceptual perspective-taking ability, whereas verbal ability was not found to be an important predictor. Thus, 3-year-olds tended to have a "copy" theory of mind in which they believed that seeing is equivalent to knowing, whereas 5-year-olds were more likely to understand the interpretative nature of mental states. A linear, hierarchical model of development was identified for conceptual perspective taking, in which a basic Level 1 ability developed before an advanced Level 1 ability, which in turn developed before a Level 2 ability. Findings have implications for the theory-formation hypothesis. (Contains 20 references.) (Author/KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A