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ERIC Number: EJ777542
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 32
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Referential Communication Abilities and Theory of Mind Development in Preschool Children
Resches, Mariela; Pereira, Miguel Perez
Journal of Child Language, v34 n1 p21-52 Feb 2007
This work aims to analyse the specific contribution of social abilities (here considered as the capacity for attributing knowledge to others) in a particular communicative context. 74 normally developing children (aged 3;4 to 5;9, M=4.6) were given two Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks, which are considered to assess increasing complexity levels of epistemic state attribution: "Attribution of knowledge-ignorance" (Pillow, 1989; adapted by Welch-Ross, 1997) and "Understanding of False-belief" (Baron Cohen, Leslie & Frith, 1985). Subjects were paired according to their age and level of performance in ToM tasks. These dyads participated in a referential communication task specially designed for this research. The resulting communicative interchanges were analysed using a three-level category system (pragmatic functions, descriptive accuracy, and ambiguity of messages). The results showed significant differences among subjects with different levels of social comprehension regarding the type of communicative resources used by them in every category level. In particular, understanding of false belief seems to be the most powerful predictor of changes in the children's development of communicative competence.
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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