Theory of Mind Abilities and Social Competence in Preschool Children
Background and Objective Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability that can be attributed to mental status beliefs, intents, emotions, proficiency, etc., to oneself and to others, and the understanding that others also have intentions, conceptions, desires, and perspectives that are different from one’s own. Daily social life depends on the ability to evaluate the behavior of other people on the basis of their mental state such as their beliefs, intentions, compassions, and goals. This study was conducted to explore the ToM abilities in preschoolers.
Methods A total of 36 preschoolers participated in the study. Two stories were narrated to the children, the classic Sally-Anne Task and the Smarty’s Task. In both the tasks, the responses of the children were scored as either true belief or false belief.
Results The results of the present study revealed mixed responses among the preschoolers. It was found that 3- to 4-year-old children had more false beliefs for both the tasks when compared with 4- to 5-year-old.
Conclusion This study highlights the importance of ToM abilities in typically growing children and other clinical population. It can be concluded that the ToM abilities were improved in typically developing children. Future studies are required to explore the higher levels of embedding of ToM, and also to incorporate it in the clinical population.
12 February 2020 (online)
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