Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis

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The Development of 5- to 8-Year-Olds' Theory of Mind

WANG Yan1,2 SU Yanjie1   

  1. 1Deparment of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing 100871; 2Department of Psychology, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062;
  • Received:2007-08-24 Online:2008-07-20 Published:2008-07-20



  1. 1北京大学心理学系,北京100871;2华东师范大学心理学系,上海200062;

Abstract: This study aimed to explore the developmental sequence of theory of mind after age 5, and to examine the relationship among different components of theory of mind. Picture-story method was used and four theory-of-mind tasks, including first-order false belief, second-order false belief, interpretive theory of mind and faux pas understanding were carried out. The results indicate that 5-year-olds can wonderfully understand first-order false belief. Interpretive theory of mind and second-order false belief understanding develope at similar age, 6-8 year old is the critical developing period for both of them. 6-year-olds can detect faux pas, but even 8-year-olds can not understand the cognitive and emotion components in faux pas. Drawn on the correlation and regression results, the first-order false belief understanding seem to be the foundation of the later developed interpretive theory of mind, second-order false belief understanding and faux pas understanding.

Key words: false belief understanding, copy theory of mind, interpretive theory of mind, faux pas understanding

摘要: 使用故事-图片法,施测一级错误信念、二级错误信念、解释性心理理论和失言理解4类任务,考察5~8岁儿童多个层次的心理理论能力。结果表明,5岁儿童已经很好地理解一级错误信念。解释性心理理论和二级错误信念理解在类似的年龄发展起来,6~8岁是他们发展的关键时期。8岁儿童还不能很好的理解失言中所包含的认知和情感成分。相关和回归分析的结果表明,一级错误信念理解可能是后来发展的解释性心理理论、二级错误信念理解和失言理解的基础。

关键词: 复制式心理理论, 解释性心理理论, 失言理解, 错误信念理解

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