Exposure to media and theory-of-mind development in preschoolers

Raymond A. Mar*, Jennifer L. Tackett, Chris Moore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exposure to different forms of narrative media may influence children's development of theory-of-mind. Because engagement with fictional narratives provides one with information about the social world, and possibly draws upon theory-of-mind processes during comprehension, exposure to storybooks, movies, and television may influence theory-of-mind development. We examined 4-6 year-olds' inferred exposure to children's literature, television, and film, using an objective measure that controls for socially desirable responding. Theory-of-mind was assessed using a battery of five tasks. Controlling for age, gender, vocabulary, and parental income, inferred exposure to children's storybooks predicted theory-of-mind abilities. Inferred exposure to children's movies also predicted theory-of-mind development, but inferred exposure to children's television did not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive Development
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Media exposure
  • Movies
  • Preschoolers
  • Reading
  • Television
  • Theory-of-mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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