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      Eighteen-month-old infants show false belief understanding in an active helping paradigm

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      Cognition
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Recently, several studies have claimed that soon after their first birthday infants understand others' false beliefs. However, some have questioned these findings based on criticisms of the looking-time paradigms used. Here we report a new paradigm to test false belief understanding in infants using a more active behavioral response: helping. Specifically, the task was for infants to help an adult achieve his goal - but to determine that goal infants had to take into account what the adult believed (i.e., whether or not he falsely believed there was a toy inside a box). Results showed that by 18 months of age infants successfully took into account the adult's belief in the process of attempting to determine his goal. Results for 16-month-olds were in the same direction but less clear. These results represent by far the youngest age of false belief understanding in a task with an active behavioral measure.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Cognition
          Cognition
          Elsevier BV
          00100277
          August 2009
          August 2009
          : 112
          : 2
          : 337-342
          Article
          10.1016/j.cognition.2009.05.006
          19524885
          330b19c7-784a-4eba-8561-6b4c044c7c52
          © 2009

          https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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