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Was the setting of the False Belief Test false? An ecological approach to the Maxi False Belief test

Puskaric Schön, Camilla LU (2018) PSYK11 20172
Department of Psychology
Abstract
Studies have shown that four years is a milestone when it comes to the development of explicit Theory of Mind (ToM). But recent studies have suggested that it is possible for younger children to show this ability explicitly, given that the test conditions are modified. The aim of this current study was to examine whether a more ecologically valid test setting could increase performance in a false belief task in children younger than the age of four, hypothesizing that it would. A simple qualitative ecologically sound design was used where both groups encountered the False Belief Test (FBT) through a book containing the Maxi test. The control group had the FBT introduced to them in the conventional way, and the experimental group did so in... (More)
Studies have shown that four years is a milestone when it comes to the development of explicit Theory of Mind (ToM). But recent studies have suggested that it is possible for younger children to show this ability explicitly, given that the test conditions are modified. The aim of this current study was to examine whether a more ecologically valid test setting could increase performance in a false belief task in children younger than the age of four, hypothesizing that it would. A simple qualitative ecologically sound design was used where both groups encountered the False Belief Test (FBT) through a book containing the Maxi test. The control group had the FBT introduced to them in the conventional way, and the experimental group did so in a more credible ecological way. The study also controlled for other factors that have been shown to affect FBT performance; verbal ability, memory, executive ability, age, siblings, sex and parental education level. 36 participants were included in the statistical analysis, ranging between 33-46 months. No significant difference was found between the experimental and the control variable. Significant results were however found for the aspects of age and sex, showing that boys performed better than girls on the FBT and that older children were more likely to answer correctly on that same test. The other control variables showed no significant result. The conclusion is that this is a field of research in need of further research in order to disentangle the many conflicting findings. (Less)
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author
Puskaric Schön, Camilla LU
supervisor
organization
course
PSYK11 20172
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Theory of Mind, preschool age, false belief, Maxi-test, Developmental Psychology, perspective taking
language
English
id
8937838
date added to LUP
2018-04-12 08:57:48
date last changed
2018-04-12 08:57:48
@misc{8937838,
  abstract     = {Studies have shown that four years is a milestone when it comes to the development of explicit Theory of Mind (ToM). But recent studies have suggested that it is possible for younger children to show this ability explicitly, given that the test conditions are modified. The aim of this current study was to examine whether a more ecologically valid test setting could increase performance in a false belief task in children younger than the age of four, hypothesizing that it would. A simple qualitative ecologically sound design was used where both groups encountered the False Belief Test (FBT) through a book containing the Maxi test. The control group had the FBT introduced to them in the conventional way, and the experimental group did so in a more credible ecological way. The study also controlled for other factors that have been shown to affect FBT performance; verbal ability, memory, executive ability, age, siblings, sex and parental education level. 36 participants were included in the statistical analysis, ranging between 33-46 months. No significant difference was found between the experimental and the control variable. Significant results were however found for the aspects of age and sex, showing that boys performed better than girls on the FBT and that older children were more likely to answer correctly on that same test. The other control variables showed no significant result. The conclusion is that this is a field of research in need of further research in order to disentangle the many conflicting findings.},
  author       = {Puskaric Schön, Camilla},
  keyword      = {Theory of Mind,preschool age,false belief,Maxi-test,Developmental Psychology,perspective taking},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Was the setting of the False Belief Test false? An ecological approach to the Maxi False Belief test},
  year         = {2018},
}