Two-year-olds grasp the intentional structure of pretense acts.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Twenty-two- and 27-month-old children were tested for their understanding of pretending as a specific intentional action form. Pairs of superficially similar behaviors - pretending to perform an action and trying to perform that action - were demonstrated to children. The 27-month-olds, and to some degree the 22-month-olds, showed in their responses that they understood the intentional structure of both kinds of behaviors: after pretense models, they themselves performed appropriate inferential pretense acts, whereas after the trying models they properly performed the action or tried to perform it with novel means. These findings are discussed in the light of recent debates about children's developing understanding of pretense and theory of mind.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rakoczy, H; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • November 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 557 - 564

PubMed ID

  • 17059452

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-7687

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1363-755X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2006.00533.x


  • eng