This research was supported by a predoctoral traineeship from NIMH (1 T32MH1819990) to Rose Scott and by a grant from NICHD to Renée Baillargeon (HD-021104). We thank Cindy Fisher, Henry Wellman, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on our manuscript; Gergo Csibra, Janice Juraska, Veronika Krieghoff, Sarah Laszlo, Alan Leslie, and Florian Waszak for helpful discussions; the staff of the University of Illinois Infant Cognition Laboratory for their help with the data collection; and the parents and infants who participated in the research.
Which Penguin Is This? Attributing False Beliefs About Object Identity at 18 Months
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2009, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 4, pages 1172–1196, July/August 2009
How to Cite
Scott, R. M. and Baillargeon, R. (2009), Which Penguin Is This? Attributing False Beliefs About Object Identity at 18 Months. Child Development, 80: 1172–1196. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01324.x
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2009
Recent research has shown that infants as young as 13 months can attribute false beliefs to agents, suggesting that the psychological-reasoning subsystem necessary for attributing reality-incongruent informational states (Subsystem-2, SS2) is operational in infancy. The present research asked whether 18-month-olds’ false-belief reasoning extends to false beliefs about object identity. Infants watched events involving an agent and 2 toy penguins; 1 penguin could be disassembled (2-piece penguin) and 1 could not (1-piece penguin). Infants realized that outdated contextual information could lead the agent to falsely believe she was facing the 1-piece rather than the 2-piece penguin, suggesting that 18-month-olds can attribute false beliefs about the identity of objects and providing new evidence for SS2 reasoning in the 2nd year of life.