False Belief Tasks Of Children

1693 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 7 Pages
For this paper I was interested in false-belief tasks in children. There is a lot of research in child psychology and development that relates to false belief tasks, but the aspect I found most interesting was how false belief tasks relate to children’s ability to lie. It was a theory that children who were unable to pass false belief tasks were unable to intend to deceive, because they lacked the understanding of false belief necessary to understand how to deceive someone. Without an understanding of false beliefs a child could not imagine a false reality in order to convince another of it, and also lacked the ability to understand others well enough to figure out how to convince them of another truth. The paper I read however, Children’s everyday deception and performance on false-belief tasks, by Paul Newton in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, tried to experimentally show whether or not this theory has any empirical weight. Newton begins by overviewing the current research as it stood before he performed his study. He then detailed the two studies performed to test whether or not the inability to pass a false belief task related to the inability for children to intend to deceive. A study done by Sodian in 1991 demonstrated that 3 year olds were unable to lie even when it would get them personal rewards. However most 4 year olds were able to lie. It was also fairly accepted that 4 years of age was the common age for children being able to pass a false…
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