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How Do Young Children Process Beliefs About Beliefs?: Evidence from Response Latency

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Are incorrect judgments on false belief tasks better explained within the framework of a conceptual change theory or a bias theory? Conceptual change theory posits a change in the form of reasoning from 3 to 4 years old while bias theory posits that processing factors are responsible for errors among younger children. The results from three experiments showed that children who failed a test of false belief took as long to respond as those who passed, and both groups of children took longer to respond to belief questions than to questions about prior states of reality. These results seem to support the bias theory.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: (HK) School of Human ScienceOsaka Shoin Women’s University, Japan 2: (PM and FZ) School of PsychologyUniversity of Nottingham, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2007


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