Nonspecificity and theory of mind: new evidence from a nonverbal false-sign task and children with autism spectrum disorders

Iao, L.S. ORCID: 0000-0002-3509-9712 and Leekam, S.R., 2014. Nonspecificity and theory of mind: new evidence from a nonverbal false-sign task and children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 122, pp. 1-20. ISSN 0022-0965

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Abstract

Understanding of false belief has long been considered to be a crucial aspect of theory of mind that can be explained by a domain-specific mechanism. We argue against this claim using new evidence from a non-verbal false representation task (false-sign task) with typically developing children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Experiments 1 and 2 showed that typically developing children (mean age = 62.67 months) were equivalent in their performance across non-verbal and verbal forms of both the false-belief and false-sign tasks. Results for these two misrepresentation tasks differed from the results of an outdated representation task (“false” photograph task). Experiment 3 showed that children with ASD had difficulties with the false representation tasks and this could not be explained by executive functioning or language impairments. These findings support the view that children with ASD may not have a specific theory of mind deficit.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Creators: Iao, L.S. and Leekam, S.R.
Publisher: Academic Press
Place of Publication: Maryland Heights, MO
Date: 2014
Volume: 122
ISSN: 0022-0965
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.jecp.2013.11.017DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:57
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:45
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20685

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