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ERIC Number: EJ1006668
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
A Constructivist Connectionist Model of Transitions on False-Belief Tasks
Berthiaume, Vincent G.; Shultz, Thomas R.; Onishi, Kristine H.
Cognition, v126 n3 p441-458 Mar 2013
How do children come to understand that others have mental representations, e.g., of an object's location? Preschoolers go through two transitions on verbal false-belief tasks, in which they have to predict where an agent will search for an object that was moved in her absence. First, while three-and-a-half-year-olds usually fail at approach tasks, in which the agent wants to find the object, children just under four succeed. Second, only after four do children succeed at tasks in which the agent wants to avoid the object. We present a constructivist connectionist model that autonomously reproduces the two transitions and suggests that the transitions are due to increases in general processing abilities enabling children to (1) overcome a default true-belief attribution by distinguishing false- from true-belief situations, and to (2) predict search in avoidance situations, where there is often more than one correct, empty search location. Constructivist connectionist models are rigorous, flexible and powerful tools that can be analyzed before and after transitions to uncover novel and emergent mechanisms of cognitive development. (Contains 11 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A