Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Why Language Matters for Theory of Mind$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Janet Wilde Astington and Jodie A. Baird

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159912

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159912.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 17 December 2017

Conversation, Pretense, and Theory of Mind

Conversation, Pretense, and Theory of Mind

Chapter:
(p.70) 4 Conversation, Pretense, and Theory of Mind
Source:
Why Language Matters for Theory of Mind
Author(s):

Paul L Harris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159912.003.0004

This chapter emphasizes the importance of communicative exchanges in fostering children's understanding of mind. It explores ways in which children's participation in communicative exchanges mediates the development of a theory of mind. Various aspects of the mother's input are likely to co-vary, including the frequency of use of mental terms, the frequency of use of sentential complements, and the pragmatic intent to introduce varying points of view into the conversation. It is the mother's pragmatic intent that is the effective source of variation in promoting theory-of-mind development. In support of this suggestion, the chapter cites two training studies, both of which indicate that conversation that emphasizes different points of view on one and the same object or event, without using mental terms or sentential complements, is sufficient to generate an improvement in children's performance on theory-of-mind tasks. The chapter also discusses the significance of pretend play in theory-of-mind development—in particular, the finding that role-taking abilities are related to children's performance on theory-of-mind tasks.

Keywords:   communicative exchanges, children, theory of mind, mother, mental terms, conversation, sentential complements, pretend play, theory-of-mind tasks, role-taking

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .