ERIC Number: EJ1156965
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
False Belief Attribution in Children with Williams Syndrome: The Answer Is in The Emotion
Campos, R.; Martínez-Castilla, P.; Sotillo, M.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, v61 n11 p1003-1010 Nov 2017
Background: Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) show difficulties in attributing false beliefs, whereas they are better at attributing emotions. This study examines whether being asked about the emotion linked to a false belief, instead of explicitly about the belief, facilitates performance on theory of mind (ToM) tasks. Method: Thirty children with WS and 90 typically developing children, who were individually matched on mental age (50-112 months), were administered six explicit (i.e. questions on belief) and six implicit (i.e. questions on emotion) trials of false belief tasks. Results: Theory of mind competences were related to cognitive development. Children with WS performed comparably to typically developing children on the emotion questions. Conclusion: Correct answers to questions on emotion reveal an implicit understanding of false belief. The Representational redescription process could be impaired in the domain of ToM in this population. This finding has relevant implications for the design of supports aiming to optimise the development of ToM competences in individuals with WS.
Descriptors: Intellectual Disability, Young Children, Attribution Theory, Beliefs, Misconceptions, Psychological Patterns, Theory of Mind, Cognitive Development, Genetic Disorders
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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