Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Teaching theory of mind by highlighting intention and illustrating thoughts: a comparison of their effectiveness with three-year-olds and autistic subjects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Evelyn Mary McGregor, Andrew Whiten, P Blackburn

School/Research organisations

Abstract

A number of interventions have taught autistic children to pass tasks of false-belief attribution, but the children show little evidence of generalization. The aim of the present study was to overcome four possible limitations in the design of such interventions, and compare two participant groups, 3-year-olds and autistic individuals with comparable verbal mental age on their ability to learn a false-belief task and generalize to other casks. The two groups were shown false-belief scenarios which were modified in two ways-by highlighting intention and by illustrating thoughts using picture-in-the-head techniques. The pre- and post-tests administered comprised a range of traditional theory-of-mind tasks. Results showed that both the 3-year-old children and che autistic individuals were able to pass a standard task of false-belief attribution following teaching. The 3-year-olds also showed substantial evidence of generalization to other false-belief tasks. However, for the autistic participants, although there was some overall improvement, generalization was limited to the test of their own false belief.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-300
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Volume16
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998

    Research areas

  • FALSE-BELIEF, CHILDREN, DISCRIMINATION, PRESCHOOLERS, DECEPTION, GRASP, TASK

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. A deepening understanding of animal culture suggests lessons for conservation

    Brakes, P., Carroll, E. L., Dall, S., Keith, S., McGregor, P., Mesnick, S., Noad, M., Rendell, L., Robbins, M., Rutz, C., Thorton, A., Whiten, A., Whiting, M., Aplin, L., Bearhop, S., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Simmonds, M. & 5 others, Spina, F., Wade, P., Whithead, H., Williams, J. & Garland, E. C., 28 Apr 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1949, 10 p., 20202718.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  2. The psychological reach of culture in animals’ lives

    Whiten, A., 27 Apr 2021, In: Current Directions in Psychological Science. OnlineFirst, 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The burgeoning reach of animal culture

    Whiten, A., 2 Apr 2021, In: Science. 372, 6537, eabe6514.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  4. Chimpanzees’ behavioral flexibility, social tolerance and use of tool-composites in a progressively challenging foraging problem

    Harrison, R. A., van Leeuwen, E. & Whiten, A., 19 Feb 2021, In: iScience. 24, 2, 102033.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Why do chimpanzees have diverse behavioral repertoires yet lack more complex cultures? Invention and social information use in a cumulative task

    Vale, G. L., McGuigan, N., Burdett, E., Lambeth, S. P., Lucas, A., Rawlings, B., Schapiro, S. J., Watson, S. K. & Whiten, A., 16 Dec 2020, In: Evolution and Human Behavior. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. The circle of life: a cross-cultural comparison of children's attribution of life-cycle traits

    Burdett, E. R. R. & Barrett, J. L., Jun 2016, In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 34, 2, p. 276-290 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Sex differences in interpretation bias in adolescents

    Gluck, R., Lynn, D. A., Dritschel, B. & Brown, G. R., Mar 2014, In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 32, 1, p. 116-122 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Young children's understanding of cultural common ground

    Liebal, K., Carpenter, M. & Tomasello, M., Mar 2013, In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 31, 1, p. 88-96 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Twelve-month-olds' comprehension and production of pointing

    Behne, T., Liszkowski, U., Carpenter, M. & Tomasello, M., Sep 2012, In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 30, 3, p. 359-375 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Can 2-and 3-year-old children be trained to perform visual perception tasks?

    McGuigan, N., Sep 2007, In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 25, p. 327-334 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 163165

Top