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 July 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 July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) — An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
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