ERIC Number: EJ907931
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
There Is More to Mind Reading than Having Theory of Mind Concepts: New Directions in Theory of Mind Research
Samson, Dana; Apperly, Ian A.
Infant and Child Development, v19 n5 p443-454 Sep-Oct 2010
For more than 30 years, researchers have focused on the important transition that children undergo between the ages of 3 and 5, when they start to solve mind-reading problems that require reasoning about complex mental states, such as beliefs. The main question for debate has been whether, during that transition, children acquire new concepts about how the mind works (i.e. a more sophisticated "theory of mind") or whether their more general cognitive abilities improve and help them deal with the general task demands. Recently, researchers have started to explore mind-reading abilities in individuals outside of the classic 3-5 age span, showing early theory of mind abilities in ever-younger children and infants, but also far from flawless performance in adults. In this article, we show how the results of these two new lines of research converge on the idea that there is more to mind reading than having theory of mind concepts: there are various processes required to efficiently implement theory of mind concepts in our reasoning, and there may be, in fact, multiple mind-reading routes available. We then highlight the emergent new directions for future research.
Descriptors: Theory of Mind, Perspective Taking, Beliefs, Psychological Patterns, Infants, Adults, Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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