ADOLESCENT EGOCENTRISM AND THEORY OF MIND: IN THE CONTEXT OF FAMILY RELATIONS
Abstract:While dealing with the issues of theory of mind (ToM) and false belief, the author realized that adolescents have similar false beliefs to those of children, but in a more complex manner. These false beliefs seem to be related to a typical developmental issue called “egocentrism.” Participants in this study were 11 adolescents (ages 16–18) and their families from a middle SES high school. ToM stories and new imaginary audience and personal fable categories were examined. Every adolescent was interviewed about his or her family relationships. To observe them all together, the author wanted to analyze adolescents' most sophisticated relations: family relations. The results seemed to indicate that in the context of their family, adolescents have more emotional inference than social inference or intentions – that is, they have more thoughts about their parents' feelings. If they have to describe their parents' relations, they seem to have more ToM (overall inference).
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2007
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