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Online usage of theory of mind continues to develop in late adolescence
 

Summary: PAPER
Online usage of theory of mind continues to develop in late
adolescence
Iroise Dumontheil,1
Ian A. Apperly2
and Sarah-Jayne Blakemore1
1. Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK
2. School of Psychology, Birmingham University, UK
Abstract
The development of theory of mind use was investigated by giving a computerized task to 177 female participants divided into
five age groups: Child I (7.39.7 years); Child II (9.811.4); Adolescent I (11.513.9); Adolescent II (14.017.7); Adults
(19.127.5). Participants viewed a set of shelves containing objects, which they were instructed to move by a `director' who
could see some but not all of the objects. Correct interpretation of critical instructions required participants to use the director's
perspective and only move objects that the director could see. In a control condition, participants were asked to ignore objects in
slots with a grey background. Accuracy improved similarly in both conditions between Child I and Adolescent II. However, while
performance of the Adolescent II and Adult groups did not differ in the control condition, the Adolescent II group made more
errors than the adults in the experimental condition. These results suggest that theory of mind use improves between late
adolescence and adulthood. Thus, while theory of mind tasks are passed by age 4, these data indicate that the interaction between
theory of mind and executive functions continues to develop in late adolescence.
Introduction

  

Source: Apperly, Ian - School of Psychology, University of Birmingham

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine