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ERIC Number: EJ1089664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Three-Year-Olds Express Suspense when an Agent Approaches a Scene with a False Belief
Moll, Henrike; Kane, Sarah; McGowan, Luke
Developmental Science, v19 n2 p208-220 Mar 2016
Research on early false belief understanding has entirely relied on affect-neutral measures such as judgments (standard tasks), attentional allocation (looking duration, preferential looking, anticipatory looking), or active intervention. We used a novel, affective measure to test whether preschoolers affectively anticipate another's misguided acts. In two experiments, 3-year-olds showed more expressions of suspense (by, e.g. brow furrowing or lip biting) when they saw an agent approach a scene with a false as opposed to a true belief (Experiment 1) or ignorance (Experiment 2). This shows that the children anticipated the agent's surprise and disappointment when encountering reality. The findings suggest that early implicit knowledge of false beliefs includes anticipations of the affective implications of erring. This vital dimension of beliefs should no longer be ignored in research on early theory of mind.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A