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Children's behavioral and mental inference by using the trait informations

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2008, 21(4), pp.1-16
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

Jaisun Koo 1 Ghim, Hei-rhee 2

1중앙대학교
2충북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines the developmental change of children's ability to use trait informations for making inferences about behaviors and mental states. A total of 181 kindergarteners, second-graders, and fourth-graders participated in this study. Children were presented two behavioral informations of a story character from which a personality trait could be inferred. Their tasks were to predict and infer the story character's behavior and mental states such as belief, desire, intention, and emotional response. The results indicate that preschoolers have ability to predict behaviors by using the trait informations. However, they could not use the trait informations as a basis for making mental inference. These results suggest that children change from the viewing traits as behavioral regularities to understanding them as causal mediators to produce mental states such as desire, belief, and feeling.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.