ERIC Number: EJ882597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
A Reaction Time Advantage for Calculating Beliefs over Public Representations Signals Domain Specificity for "Theory of Mind"
Cohen, Adam S.; German, Tamsin C.
Cognition, v115 n3 p417-425 Jun 2010
In a task where participants' overt task was to track the location of an object across a sequence of events, reaction times to unpredictable probes requiring an inference about a social agent's beliefs about the location of that object were obtained. Reaction times to false belief situations were faster than responses about the (false) contents of a map showing the location of the object (Experiment 1) and about the (false) direction of an arrow signaling the location of the object (Experiment 2). These results are consistent with developmental, neuro-imaging and neuropsychological evidence that there exist domain specific mechanisms within human cognition for encoding and reasoning about mental states. Specialization of these mechanisms may arise from either core cognitive architecture or via the accumulation of expertise in the social domain. (Contains 3 figures and 2 tables.)
Descriptors: Reaction Time, Beliefs, Child Development, Brain, Task Analysis, Experiments, Cognitive Processes, Coding, Cognitive Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A