The role of language in the development of false belief understanding: a training study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The current study used a training methodology to determine whether different kinds of linguistic interaction play a causal role in children's development of false belief understanding. After 3 training sessions, 3-year-old children improved their false belief understanding both in a training condition involving perspective-shifting discourse about deceptive objects (without mental state terms) and in a condition in which sentential complement syntax was used (without deceptive objects). Children did not improve in a condition in which they were exposed to deceptive objects without accompanying language. Children showed most improvement in a condition using both perspective-shifting discourse and sentential complement syntax, suggesting that each of these types of linguistic experience plays an independent role in the ontogeny of false belief understanding.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lohmann, H; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • July 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 74 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1130 - 1144

PubMed ID

  • 12938709

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1467-8624.00597


  • eng