Do 15-month-old infants understand false beliefs?

Krisfine K. Oniski, Renée Baillargeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

For more than two decades, researchers have argued that young children do not understand mental states such as beliefs. Part of the evidence for this claim comes from preschoolers' failure at verbal tasks that require the understanding that others may hold false beliefs. Here, we used a novel nonverbal task to examine 15-month-old infants' ability to predict an actor's behavior on the basis of her true or false belief about a toy's hiding place. Results were positive, supporting the view that, from a young age, children appeal to mental states-goals, perceptions, and beliefs-to explain the behavior of others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume308
Issue number5719
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 8 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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