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ERIC Number: EJ819419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Can an Agent's False Belief Be Corrected by an Appropriate Communication? Psychological Reasoning in 18-Month-Old Infants
Song, Hyun-joo; Onishi, Kristine H.; Baillargeon, Renee; Fisher, Cynthia
Cognition, v109 n3 p295-315 Dec 2008
Do 18-month-olds understand that an agent's false belief can be corrected by an appropriate, though not an inappropriate, communication? In Experiment 1, infants watched a series of events involving two agents, a ball, and two containers: a box and a cup. To start, agent 1 played with the ball and then hid it in the box, while agent 2 looked on. Next, in agent 1's absence, agent 2 moved the ball from the box to the cup. When agent 1 returned, agent 2 told her "The ball is in the cup!" (informative-intervention condition) or "I like the cup!" (uninformative-intervention condition). During test, agent 1 reached for either the box (box event) or the cup (cup event). In the informative-intervention condition, infants who saw the box event looked reliably longer than those who saw the cup event; in the uninformative-intervention condition, the reverse pattern was found. These results suggest that infants expected agent 1's false belief about the ball's location to be corrected when she was told "The ball is in the cup!", but not "I like the cup!". In Experiment 2, agent 2 simply pointed to the ball's new location, and infants again expected agent 1's false belief to be corrected. These and control results provide additional evidence that infants in the second year of life can attribute false beliefs to agents. In addition, the results suggest that by 18 months of age infants expect agents' false beliefs to be corrected by relevant communications involving words or gestures. (Contains 11 figures.)
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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