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ERIC Number: EJ1084408
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0165-0254
From the External to the Internal: Behavior Clarifications Facilitate Theory of Mind (ToM) Development in Chinese Children
Liu, Yanchun; Wang, Yijie; Luo, Rufan; Su, Yanjie
International Journal of Behavioral Development, v40 n1 p21-30 Jan 2016
The present study investigated how Chinese children develop theory of mind (ToM) in a language environment with limited mental state talk that is rich in behavior discourse. In Study 1, 60 mothers shared a wordless storybook with their 3-4-year-olds. The children completed two false-belief tasks and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised at the same time and again 1 year later. Mothers' early behavior clarifications during book-sharing predicted children's later false-belief understanding independent of children's early false-belief scores; children's early verbal ability; maternal education; and mothers' early mental state clarifications, simple mental state mentions, and simple behavior mentions. Using a discussion paradigm, Study 2 experimentally exposed 46 children aged 4 to 5 years to mental state or behavior clarifications or physical features of object talk (control group) through storytelling. Children in the experimental groups showed improvement in false-belief tasks from the pretest to the posttest. These findings indicate that behavior clarifications facilitated Chinese children's mental understanding, suggesting a culture-specific mechanism for ToM development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A