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ERIC Number: EJ915633
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
The Link between Preschoolers' Executive Function and Theory of Mind and the Role of Epistemic States
Henning, Anne; Spinath, Frank M.; Aschersleben, Gisa
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v108 n3 p513-531 Mar 2011
The aim of this study was to assess the specific relation between 3- to 6-year-olds' performance on a task measuring executive function (EF), the Dimensional Change Card Sort task (DCCS), and different developmental attainments in their theory of mind (ToM) by employing a battery of scaled ToM tasks that were comparable in task format and task demands. In addition, individual differences on the temperamental dimensions emotionality, activity, sociability, and shyness were assessed by parental rating. The main findings show that children's (N=195) performance on the DCCS related to their overall performance on the ToM scale but that this relation was specific to those ToM tasks that tap children's understanding of epistemic states such as knowledge access, diverse beliefs, and false beliefs regarding content and location. The relation between children's EF and overall ToM performance remained significant after controlling for age, sentence comprehension, child temperament, and parental education. Individual differences in child activity showed consistent negative relation to EF and ToM abilities. The findings point to a differential involvement of the various EF components in reasoning about different mental concepts. (Contains 5 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A