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Narrative Practices and Folk Psychology: A Perspective from Developmental Psychology

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Herein developmental psychological research complementary to Hutto's narrative practices hypothesis is considered. Specifically, I discuss experiential development from the perspective of first, second and third person in the acquisition of knowledge and the con-struction and comprehension of narratives, with relevance for theo-ries of 'theory of mind' and in particular tests of the child's understanding of false belief. I propose that the development of distinct third person belief states requires significant developmental work, which is advanced through social sharing of memory and knowledge, by means of linguistic representations especially through narrative practices of different kinds, personal narratives and story telling. The final sections summarize the view that these developments are part of a broader expansion of consciousness that is evident in many aspects of cognitive change during the later preschool years (Nelson, 2007).

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: January 1, 2009

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