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Longitudinal evidence for 4-year-olds’ but not 2- and 3-year-olds’ false belief-related action anticipation

Grosse Wiesmann, C; Friederici, AD; Disla, D; Steinbeis, N; Singer, T; (2017) Longitudinal evidence for 4-year-olds’ but not 2- and 3-year-olds’ false belief-related action anticipation. Cognitive Development 10.1016/j.cogdev.2017.08.007. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Recently, infants younger than 2 years have been shown to display correct expectations of the actions of an agent with a false belief. The developmental trajectory of these early-developing abilities and their robustness, however, remain a matter of debate. Here, we tested children longitudinally from 2 to 4 years of age with an established anticipatory looking false belief task, and found a significant developmental change between the ages of 3 and 4 years. Children anticipated correctly only by the age of 4 years, and performed at chance at the ages of 2 and 3 years. Moreover, we found correct anticipation only when the agent falsely believed an object to be in its last rather than a previous location. These findings point towards the fragility of early belief-related action anticipation before the age of 4 years, when children start passing traditional false belief tasks.

Type: Article
Title: Longitudinal evidence for 4-year-olds’ but not 2- and 3-year-olds’ false belief-related action anticipation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2017.08.007
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2017.08.007
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
Keywords: Theory of mind, False belief, Anticipatory looking, Longitudinal study, Replication study, Preschool age
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043609
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