NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ942973
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0261-510X
Understanding Pretence and Understanding Action
Berguno, George; Bowler, Dermot
British Journal of Developmental Psychology, v22 n4 p531-544 Nov 2004
Two studies were carried out in an attempt to replicate an earlier but controversial set of findings that suggested that young children are able to understand pretence in a mentalistic sense (Hickling, Wellman, & Gottfried, 1997). In Study 1, 65 three-year-olds and 77 four-year-olds were asked to either judge the thoughts of an absent teddy bear, who had not witnessed a change in the original pretence stipulation, or were asked to complete a similar, standard false-belief task. Study 2 repeated the experimental procedures of the first study with 24 three-year-olds and 16 four-year-olds, with the difference that all children had to complete both tasks in a single session. The results obtained across both studies showed that 3-year-olds were unable to correctly judge the discrepant thoughts of the teddy bear, suggesting that young children do not attribute a false belief to another actor during pretend play, and that instead they view pretence in terms of overt action.
British Psychological Society. St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7DR, UK. Tel: +44-116-254-9568; Fax: +44-116-227-1314; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A