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Peer Popularity and Theory of Mind

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2005, 18(1), pp.1-18
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

Ghim, Hei-rhee 1 이숙희 1

1충북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The present study examined the hypothesis that children's theory of mind ability is related to their peer popularity. Fifty-one preschool children between the age of 4 and 6, and 67 second grade children completed a peer rating task to assess peer popularity. In addition, children were tested on six different false belief tasks. Teachers were asked to rate children's aggressive behavior, conventional social behavior, and intentional social behavior requiring theory of mind. Preschool children's popularity scores were significantly related to the theory of mind scores, the ratings of aggressive, conventional social, and intentional social behavior. In contrast, second grade children's popularity scores were related to the ratings of conventional social, and intentional social behavior, but not to the theory of mind scores. For the preschoolers group, the aggressive behavior was the best predictor of children's popularity, but for the second graders group it was the intentional social behavior. In addition, for the total group of children, the intentional social behavior was the best predictor of peer popularity. The pattern of results suggest that it is not the theory of mind ability itself that has impact on peer popularity. Rather, the social skills to put theory of mind ability to practical use is more important.

Citation status

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