Promoting theory of mind during middle childhood: a training program.


Evidence that conversations about the mind foster improvements in theory of mind (ToM) is growing, but their efficacy in typically developing school-aged children has yet to be demonstrated. To address this gap, we designed a conversation-based training program for 9- and 10-year-olds and measured its effectiveness by pre- and post-test comparisons of performance on age-appropriate ToM tasks for two groups (matched at pre-test for gender, age, socioeconomic background, verbal ability, reading comprehension, executive functions, and ToM) who were assigned to either the intervention condition (n=45) or an active control condition (n=46). The intervention group showed significantly greater gains in ToM than the control group; this contrast was stable over 2 months, and (in a subsample) the improvement in ToM was independent of any changes in executive functions. Implications for the role of conversations about the mind in children's mental state reasoning are discussed.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.03.002

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@article{Lecce2014PromotingTO, title={Promoting theory of mind during middle childhood: a training program.}, author={Serena Lecce and Federica Bianco and Rory T Devine and Claire Hughes and Robin Banerjee}, journal={Journal of experimental child psychology}, year={2014}, volume={126}, pages={52-67} }