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ERIC Number: EJ849764
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
The Link between Infant Attention to Goal-Directed Action and Later Theory of Mind Abilities
Aschersleben, Gisa; Hofer, Tanja; Jovanovic, Bianca
Developmental Science, v11 n6 p862-868 Nov 2008
Various studies have shown that infants in their first year of life are able to interpret human actions as goal-directed. It is argued that this understanding is a precondition for understanding intentional actions and attributing mental states. Moreover, some authors claim that this early action understanding is a precursor of later Theory of Mind (ToM) development. To test this, we related 6-month-olds' performance in an action interpretation task to their performance in ToM tasks at the age of 4 years. Action understanding was assessed using a modified version of the Woodward-paradigm (Woodward, 1999). At the age of 4 years, the same children were tested with the German version of the ToM scale developed by Wellman and Liu (2004). Results revealed a correlation between infants' decrement of attention to goal-directed action and their ability to solve a false belief task at the age of 4 years with no modulation by language abilities. Our results indicate a link between infant attention to goal-directed action and later theory of mind abilities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A