Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research explores how children reason, think about others

Date:
December 14, 2012
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Two new studies explore the development of reasoning and perspective-taking in children.

As social creatures, humans must constantly monitor each other's intentions, beliefs, desires, and other mental states. A particularly important social skill is the ability to take another person's perspective and understand what the person knows, even when that knowledge may ultimately be false. Past research has shown that before the age of 4, children fail to pass standard tasks designed to measure false belief; however, new research has shown that very young children can pass nonverbal versions of false-belief tasks.

Paula Rubio-Fernαndez of University College London and Bart Geurts of the University of Nijmegen tested 3-year-old children using a standard false-belief task called the Smarties task and using an altered, more streamlined version of the false-belief task called the Duplo task. The Duplo task was designed to minimize disruptions in children's perspective-taking. The researchers found that while only 22.7% of children passed the Smarties task, 80% of children passed the Duplo task. This suggests that 3-year-old children are able to pass a verbal false-belief task if they are able to keep track of the protagonist's perspective.

Early Executive Function Predicts Reasoning Development

Although analogical reasoning is a core cognitive skill that distinguishes humans from other animals, its origins are still not well understood. Psychological scientists Lindsey Richland of the University of Chicago and Margaret Burchinal of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill analyzed data from children who were part of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. They assessed children for vocabulary knowledge, sustained attention, short-term memory skills, executive functioning skills, and analytical reasoning skills and found that children's early vocabulary knowledge and executive-functioning predicted their analytical reasoning skills at age 15. These results indicate that composite executive-function skills make specialized contributions to the development of children's analytical reasoning. They also support the idea that language and knowledge are necessary for the development of analytical-reasoning skills.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. P. Rubio-Fernandez, B. Geurts. How to Pass the False-Belief Task Before Your Fourth Birthday. Psychological Science, 2012; DOI: 10.1177/0956797612447819
  2. L. E. Richland, M. R. Burchinal. Early Executive Function Predicts Reasoning Development. Psychological Science, 2012; DOI: 10.1177/0956797612450883

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Research explores how children reason, think about others." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214143030.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2012, December 14). Research explores how children reason, think about others. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214143030.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Research explores how children reason, think about others." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214143030.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins