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ERIC Number: EJ830967
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Theories of Mind in Transition: A Microgenetic Study of the Development of False Belief Understanding
Amsterlaw, Jennifer; Wellman, Henry M.
Journal of Cognition and Development, v7 n2 p139-172 Apr 2006
Microgenetic methods were used to document young children's (N = 36; M age = 3;5) acquisition of false belief (FB) understanding and investigate developmental mechanisms. A control group received no experience with FB; 2 other groups received microgenetic sessions designed to promote FB understanding. Over consecutive weeks, microgenetic groups received implicit feedback about their performance on 24 FB tasks and generated explanations for FB events. Only 1 microgenetic group improved. Differences in the schedules of microgenetic experience and in the amount and type of FB explanation children engaged in accounted for these differences. Improving children developed FB understandings gradually and exhibited fluctuating task performance, suggesting slow conceptual restructuring, not sudden insight. This work provides the first microgenetic record of children's transition to a representational theory of mind. (Contains 4 figures, 3 footnotes and 5 tables.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A