Good test--retest reliability for standard and advanced false-belief tasks across a wide range of abilities.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Although tests of young children's understanding of mind have had a remarkable impact upon developmental and clinical psychological research over the past 20 years, very little is known about their reliability. Indeed, the only existing study of test-retest reliability suggests unacceptably poor results for first-order false-belief tasks (Mayes, Klin, Tercyak, Cicchetti, & Cohen, 1996), although this may in part reflect the nonstandard (video-based) procedures adopted by these authors. The present study had four major aims. The first was to re-examine the reliability of false-belief tasks, using more standard (puppet and storybook) procedures. The second was to assess whether the test-retest reliability of false-belief task performance is equivalent for children of contrasting ability levels. The third aim was to explore whether adopting an aggregate approach improves the reliability with which children's early mental-state awareness can be measured. The fourth aim was to examine for the first time the test-retest reliability of children's performances on more advanced theory-of-mind tasks. Our results suggest that most standard and advanced false-belief tasks do in fact show good test-retest reliability and internal consistency, with very strong test-retest correlations between aggregate scores for children of all levels of ability.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hughes, C; Adlam, A; Happé, F; Jackson, J; Taylor, A; Caspi, A

Published Date

  • May 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 483 - 490

PubMed ID

  • 10836678

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-7610

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9630

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1469-7610.00633


  • eng