Theory Of Mind In Children Between The Ages Of Three And Six Years Old Essays Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Children, Family, Belief, Autism, Education, Box, Marble, Mind

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/12/15

Theory of mind is the ability to understand that other people could believe something that is not true regarding beliefs, knowledge, and desires. An absence of the capacity to form second-order representations would lead not only to a lack of theory of mind and the concomitant social ineptness, but also to a lack of pretend play (Baron-Cohen, Leslie & Frith, 1985). Theory of mind is normally begins to develop in children from three years of age and matures, as they get older. However, some children, three years of age or younger, have well developed implicit understanding of false belief (Bjorklund & Hernandez-Blasi, 2012). Family size, for example having older siblings, matters in the performance of children's false belief tasks and is associated with better theory of mind, because siblings are always competing with one another. Bjorklund and Hernandez-Blasi (2012) suggest that advance forms of mind reading are absent or significantly delayed in autism, a particular form of developmental disability.
There are a few methods to test for theory of mind in children between the ages of three and six years old. One frequently a used false belief task is the Smarties box, where children are shown this box and asked what they think is in the box.
Lewis and Osborne (1990) examined why there is a difference between the natural language data and the results of false belief experiments. The method they used was the Smartie box experiment to test 131 children from two nursery schools and three playgroups. They divided the children into different age groups and began the procedure. The experimenter asked the children to look at a smartie box and then asked what does he/she thinks is in the box, revealing that there is a pencil inside. All children were told that their friends were going to play the game with them. The subjects were asked a second question concerning their friend's thoughts and to whisper his or her answer to the experimenter. In the results for each of the two test questions, children made either a correct false belief attribution by saying Smarties, or an incorrect attribution, giving their knowledge about the real contents of the tube (Lewis & Osborne, 1990). These results supported their hypotheses that three year olds are able to make false belief attributions.
According to Baron-Cohen et al., (1985) childhood autism is a severe developmental disorder. It is a rare condition affecting about four in every 10,000 children. In the study described in the article, they tested theory of mind in 20 autistic children, 14 Down’s Syndrome and 27 normal preschool children. The method used in the study is the Sally and Anne experiment, which consists of a marble left by Sally in her box that Anne moves it to her box later when Sally is gone. When Sally returns, the experimenter asked the children where will Sally look for her marble. If the children point to the previous location of the marble, then they pass the Belief Question by appreciating the Sally’s now false belief. However, if they point to the marble’s current location, then they fail the question by not taking into account Sally’s belief (Baron-Cohen et al., 1985). According to Baron-Cohen et al., (1985), 12 out of 14 Down’s Syndrome children passed the Belief Question on both trials. By contrast, 16 of the 20 autistic children failed the Belief Question on both trials. Every child knew that the marble was hidden somewhere else, but the critical question was where will Sally look for the marble. Autistic children answered this question in a distinctly different way from the others. The Down’s Syndrome and normal preschool children answered by pointing to where the marble was put in the first place (Baron-Cohen et al., 1985).
This results of the studies presented here suggest that children as young as three year can pass the false belief test and autism severely impairs this ability.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 15) Theory Of Mind In Children Between The Ages Of Three And Six Years Old Essays Example. Retrieved August 20, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/theory-of-mind-in-children-between-the-ages-of-three-and-six-years-old-essays-example/
"Theory Of Mind In Children Between The Ages Of Three And Six Years Old Essays Example." WePapers, 15 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/theory-of-mind-in-children-between-the-ages-of-three-and-six-years-old-essays-example/. Accessed 20 August 2022.
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"Theory Of Mind In Children Between The Ages Of Three And Six Years Old Essays Example." WePapers, Dec 15, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/theory-of-mind-in-children-between-the-ages-of-three-and-six-years-old-essays-example/
WePapers. 2020. "Theory Of Mind In Children Between The Ages Of Three And Six Years Old Essays Example." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved August 20, 2022. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/theory-of-mind-in-children-between-the-ages-of-three-and-six-years-old-essays-example/).
"Theory Of Mind In Children Between The Ages Of Three And Six Years Old Essays Example," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 15-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/theory-of-mind-in-children-between-the-ages-of-three-and-six-years-old-essays-example/. [Accessed: 20-Aug-2022].
Theory Of Mind In Children Between The Ages Of Three And Six Years Old Essays Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/theory-of-mind-in-children-between-the-ages-of-three-and-six-years-old-essays-example/. Published Dec 15, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022.
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