Social cognition is not reducible to theory of mind: When children use deontic rules to predict the behaviour of others
Date de parution
British Journal of Developmental Psychology
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The objective of this paper is to discuss whether children have a capacity for deontic reasoning that is irreducible to mentalizing. The results of two experiments point to the existence of such non-mentalistic understanding and prediction of the behaviour of others. In Study 1, young children (3- and 4-year-olds) were told different versions of classic false-belief tasks, some of which were modified by the introduction of a rule or a regularity. When the task (a standard change of location task) included a rule, the performance of 3-year-olds, who fail traditional false-belief tasks, significantly improved. In Study 2, 3-year-olds proved to be able to infer a rule from a social situation and to use it in order to predict the behaviour of a character involved in a modified version of the false-belief task. These studies suggest that rules play a central role in the social cognition of young children and that deontic reasoning might not necessarily involve mind reading.
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Resource Types::text::journal::journal article