Author's note. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, NICHD (R01-HD35612). The authors would like to thank Pamela K. Rutherford, Janis E. Sayre, Kimberly McMillan, and Deborah F. Deckner for their numerous contributions to this project. Thank you to Amy Lasher and K. Ramsey Simmons for coding the corpus. Preliminary data from this article were presented as part of a doctoral dissertation to Georgia State University by the first author and were presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA, May 2009. Thank you to Christopher Henrich and Rebecca Williamson for their thoughtful critiques as members of the dissertation committee.
The Developmental Progression of Understanding of Mind during a Hiding Game
Article first published online: 29 DEC 2011
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2011
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 313–330, May 2012
How to Cite
Nelson, P. B., Adamson, L. B. and Bakeman, R. (2012), The Developmental Progression of Understanding of Mind during a Hiding Game. Social Development, 21: 313–330. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2011.00638.x
- Issue published online: 9 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 29 DEC 2011
- theory of mind;
- social cognition;
- mother–child interaction;
- longitudinal studies
In this longitudinal study, 52 typically developing preschoolers engaged in a hiding game with their mothers when children were 42-, 54-, and 66-months old. Children's understanding of mind, positive affect, and engagement with the task were rated, and mothers' utterances were coded for role and content. Analyses confirmed that some facets of children's understanding of mind developed sequentially; specifically, they expressed an understanding of knowledge access before an understanding of deception and false beliefs, and expressed an understanding of deception before an understanding of false beliefs. Children's understanding of mind increased across visits and positively correlated with false belief task performance. Results suggest that mothers may tailor the content of their utterances to the child's growing expertise, but the role of mothers' utterances did not change. Observing preschoolers engaged in a playful hiding game revealed that children's understanding of mind not only increased with age but also developed sequentially.