Analogical comparison aids false belief understanding in preschoolers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Analogical comparison has been found to promote learning across many conceptual domains. Here, we ask whether this mechanism can facilitate children's understanding of others' mental states. In Experiment 1, children carried out comparisons between characters' thoughts and reality and between characters with true beliefs vs. those with false beliefs. Children given this training improved from pre- to post-test. In Experiment 2, we used a more minimal comparison technique. Children saw a series of three stories involving true or false beliefs. There were two between-subjects conditions that either facilitated (High Alignability) or impeded (Low Alignability) comparison across stories. We found that children made more gains from pre- to post-test in the High Alignability condition than in the Low Alignability condition. We also found effects of production of mental state verbs, as assessed in an Elicitation Task. These results provide evidence for the role of analogical comparison in theory of mind development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2015
EditorsDavid C. Noelle, Rick Dale, Anne Warlaumont, Jeff Yoshimi, Teenie Matlock, Carolyn D. Jennings, Paul P. Maglio
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages944-949
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780991196722
StatePublished - 2015
Event37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Mind, Technology, and Society, CogSci 2015 - Pasadena, United States
Duration: Jul 23 2015Jul 25 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2015

Conference

Conference37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Mind, Technology, and Society, CogSci 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPasadena
Period7/23/157/25/15

Keywords

  • analogy
  • cognitive development
  • comparison
  • false belief
  • social cognition
  • theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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