Infants' Reasoning About Others' False Perceptions

Hyun joo Song, Renee L Baillargeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Prior research suggests that children younger than age 3 or 4 do not understand that an agent may be deceived by an object's misleading appearance. The authors asked whether 14.5-month-olds would give evidence in a violation-of-expectation task that they understand that agents may form false perceptions. Infants first watched events in which an agent faced a stuffed skunk and a doll with blue pigtails; the agent consistently reached for the doll, suggesting that she preferred it over the skunk. Next, while the agent was absent, the doll was hidden in a plain box, and the skunk was hidden in a box with a tuft of blue hair protruding from under its lid. Infants expected the agent to be misled by the tuft's resemblance to the doll's hair and to falsely perceive it as belonging to the doll. These and other results indicate that 14.5-month-old infants can already reason about agents' false perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1789-1795
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

Fingerprint

Mephitidae
infant
Hair
Form Perception
event
Research
evidence

Keywords

  • action comprehension
  • false perception
  • infant cognition
  • psychological reasoning
  • theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Infants' Reasoning About Others' False Perceptions. / Song, Hyun joo; Baillargeon, Renee L.

In: Developmental psychology, Vol. 44, No. 6, 01.11.2008, p. 1789-1795.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e22e51f0680747ac86120199f18d88bb,
title = "Infants' Reasoning About Others' False Perceptions",
abstract = "Prior research suggests that children younger than age 3 or 4 do not understand that an agent may be deceived by an object's misleading appearance. The authors asked whether 14.5-month-olds would give evidence in a violation-of-expectation task that they understand that agents may form false perceptions. Infants first watched events in which an agent faced a stuffed skunk and a doll with blue pigtails; the agent consistently reached for the doll, suggesting that she preferred it over the skunk. Next, while the agent was absent, the doll was hidden in a plain box, and the skunk was hidden in a box with a tuft of blue hair protruding from under its lid. Infants expected the agent to be misled by the tuft's resemblance to the doll's hair and to falsely perceive it as belonging to the doll. These and other results indicate that 14.5-month-old infants can already reason about agents' false perceptions.",
keywords = "action comprehension, false perception, infant cognition, psychological reasoning, theory of mind",
author = "Song, {Hyun joo} and Baillargeon, {Renee L}",
year = "2008",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/a0013774",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "44",
pages = "1789--1795",
journal = "Developmental Psychology",
issn = "0012-1649",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Infants' Reasoning About Others' False Perceptions

AU - Song, Hyun joo

AU - Baillargeon, Renee L

PY - 2008/11/1

Y1 - 2008/11/1

N2 - Prior research suggests that children younger than age 3 or 4 do not understand that an agent may be deceived by an object's misleading appearance. The authors asked whether 14.5-month-olds would give evidence in a violation-of-expectation task that they understand that agents may form false perceptions. Infants first watched events in which an agent faced a stuffed skunk and a doll with blue pigtails; the agent consistently reached for the doll, suggesting that she preferred it over the skunk. Next, while the agent was absent, the doll was hidden in a plain box, and the skunk was hidden in a box with a tuft of blue hair protruding from under its lid. Infants expected the agent to be misled by the tuft's resemblance to the doll's hair and to falsely perceive it as belonging to the doll. These and other results indicate that 14.5-month-old infants can already reason about agents' false perceptions.

AB - Prior research suggests that children younger than age 3 or 4 do not understand that an agent may be deceived by an object's misleading appearance. The authors asked whether 14.5-month-olds would give evidence in a violation-of-expectation task that they understand that agents may form false perceptions. Infants first watched events in which an agent faced a stuffed skunk and a doll with blue pigtails; the agent consistently reached for the doll, suggesting that she preferred it over the skunk. Next, while the agent was absent, the doll was hidden in a plain box, and the skunk was hidden in a box with a tuft of blue hair protruding from under its lid. Infants expected the agent to be misled by the tuft's resemblance to the doll's hair and to falsely perceive it as belonging to the doll. These and other results indicate that 14.5-month-old infants can already reason about agents' false perceptions.

KW - action comprehension

KW - false perception

KW - infant cognition

KW - psychological reasoning

KW - theory of mind

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=56349084541&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=56349084541&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0013774

DO - 10.1037/a0013774

M3 - Article

C2 - 18999340

AN - SCOPUS:56349084541

VL - 44

SP - 1789

EP - 1795

JO - Developmental Psychology

JF - Developmental Psychology

SN - 0012-1649

IS - 6

ER -