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ERIC Number: EJ859931
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 183
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
Children's Understanding of Second-Order Mental States
Miller, Scott A.
Psychological Bulletin, v135 n5 p749-773 Sep 2009
The most popular topic in theory-of-mind research has been first-order false belief: the realization that it is possible to hold false beliefs about events in the world. A more advanced development is second-order false belief: the realization that it is possible to hold a false belief about someone else's belief. This article reviews research directed to second-order false belief and other forms of higher order, recursive mentalistic reasoning. Three general issues are considered. Research directed to developmental changes indicates that preschoolers typically fail second-order tasks and that success emerges at about age 5 or 6, although results vary some with method of assessment. Research directed to the consequences of second-order competence has revealed positive relations with a number of other aspects of children's development. Finally, measures of both language and executive function relate positively to performance on second-order tasks; the causal bases for the correlations, however, remain to be established. This article concludes with suggestions for future research. (Contains 6 tables and 5 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A