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Goldsmiths - University of London

The role of belief veracity in understanding intentions-in-action Preschool children's performance on the transparent intentions task

Russell, J.; Hill, Elisabeth L. and Franco, F.. 2001. The role of belief veracity in understanding intentions-in-action Preschool children's performance on the transparent intentions task. Cognitive Development, 16(3), pp. 775-792. ISSN 08852014 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

It is possible to have either true or false beliefs about what one is currently doing (an ‘intention-in-action’; [Searle, J. R. (1983). Intentionality: an essay in the philosophy of mind. New York: Cambridge University Press.]). The theory-theory account of the development of ‘mentalising’ skills between 3 and 4 years of age predicts that younger children should find false intentions-in-action more difficult to report than true intentions-in-action. In contrast, an executive theory of development at 3 and 4 years of age would predict that the perceived outcome of the action at the time of questioning should determine the younger child's answer, with the truth-value of the past belief playing no role. We presented 3- and 4-year-old children with a novel drawing task—the transparent intentions task—in order to pit these two accounts against each other. The truth-value of the child's (or a puppet's) intention-in-action played no role in performance. Incorrect answers referred to the unexpected final outcome of the drawing. This result supports the executive theory.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

10.1016/S0885-2014(01)00057-0

Keywords:

intention understanding, typical development, windows task

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
2001Published

Item ID:

2616

Date Deposited:

18 Mar 2010 14:07

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 15:46

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/2616
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