1st Edition

Children's Theories of Mind
Mental States and Social Understanding

ISBN 9780805804188
Published March 1, 1991 by Psychology Press
224 Pages

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book is a result of a study group that met to discuss the child's theory of mind. A topic whose effects span cognitive, language, and social development, it may bring a unifying influence to developmental psychology. New studies in this area acknowledge children's conceptions of intention and belief, as well as intention and belief themselves, and consider the explanations they provide for children's developing abilities. The contributors to this important volume examine several aspects of the child's theory of mind, and present significant research findings on the theory itself and how it changes and develops for each child. Discussions of the utility of a theory of mind to the child, and to developmental psychologists trying to understand children, are provided. Finally, new explanations are offered for how children acquire a theory of mind in the first place.

Table of Contents

Contents: C. Moore, D. Frye, The Acquisition and Utility of Theories of Mind. D. Frye, The Origins of Intention in Infancy. D. Premack, The Infant's Theory of Self-Propelled Objects. I. Bretherton, Intentional Communication and the Development of an Understanding of Mind. R.T. Beckwith, The Language of Emotion, The Emotions, and Nominalist Bootstrapping. J. Dunn, Young Children's Understanding of Other People: Evidence from Observations Within the Family. D.F. Hay, C.A. Stimson, J. Castle, A Meeting of Minds in Infancy: Imitation and Desire. J. Perner, On Representing That: The Asymmetry Between Belief and Desire in Children's Theory of Mind. J.W. Astington, Intention in the Child's Theory of Mind. C. Moore, D. Furrow, The Development of the Language of Belief: The Expression of Relative Certainty. T.R. Shultz, Modelling Embedded Intention.

View More


"...there is something here for a wide range of readers, and I recommend the book for any serious scholar in cognitive, metacognitive, or social cognitive development who has any interest in children's social understandings."
Contemporary Psychology

"...provides a refreshing change to the familiar age-related descriptions of the capabilities of children with respect to theory of mind tasks. It gives a number of illuminating accounts of how children's learning within their social environment is geared to the acquisition of a theory of mind and how this develops through childhood....provides an invaluable read giving an injection of new ideas and thoughts that can only benefit this rapidly expanding literature within developmental psychology."
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

"...serves as a good introduction to the field....it presents a highly readable overview of an exciting body of research."
Child Development Abstracts & Bibliography

"This is a fascinating collection of papers for anyone interested in the interrelated areas of social, cognitive and language behavior....a useful addition to your library."
Educational Psychology

"This book delivers the latest thinking on the child's theory of mind by some of the most eminent researchers in the field, and as such is an invaluable item for final-year undergraduates. postgraduates and researchers."
British Journal of Developmental Psychology

"...this volume accurately anticipates the current tendency for researchers to broaden their own conceptions of mind and begin to examine children's understanding of other mental states, such as desires, emotions, and intentions and to examine them in terms of children's natural environments and activities as well as through laboratory tasks. In this respect, this book continues to offer important insights that must be accommodated in current theoretical efforts."
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly