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Self- and Social-RegulationExploring the Relations Between Social Interaction, Social Understanding, and the Development of Executive Functions$
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Bryan Sokol, Ulrich Muller, Jeremy Carpendale, Arlene Young, and Grace Iarocci

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327694

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327694.001.0001

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Object-Based Set-Shifting in Preschoolers: Relations to Theory of Mind

Object-Based Set-Shifting in Preschoolers: Relations to Theory of Mind

(p.192) 8 Object-Based Set-Shifting in Preschoolers: Relations to Theory of Mind (p.193)
Self- and Social-Regulation

Daniela Kloo

Josef Perner

Thomas Giritzer

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on children's ability to shift between different ways of thinking about an object, which is termed object-based set-shifting. First, we outline crucial developments in social cognition (theory of mind) and executive functions in the preschool years. At around age 4, children master the false belief task and the Dimensional Change Card Sorting (DCCS) task; the latter being a measure of object-based set-shifting. We describe studies showing that these developmental advances are related. And we present evidence suggesting that both executive abilities (inhibitory control) and conceptual abilities (re-description understanding) play a role in the development of object-based set-shifting. Finally, we discuss various theories aiming to explain the general developmental link between theory of mind and executive functions.

Keywords:   theory of mind, executive functions, set-shifting, preschool children, training

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