Scaling of Theory of Mind Tasks
Kovalak, Angela L.
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This study creates a scalable set of theory of mind tasks from a series of 7 tasks previously used in theory of mind research. The 7 tasks represent different aspects of children's understanding of mental states. Seventy-five 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds were administered each of the 7 theory of mind tasks. The tasks were organized into a scale based on a consistent pattern of correct responses. The pattern dictated that once a child passed a more difficult task, the child would also be able to pass all of the earlier tasks. Results indicate that 4 of the 7 tasks create a scalable set. This scale provides a more continuous measure of theory of mind development than previous research. In addition, the scale helps isolate factors that might influence the development of theory of mind, as well as outside factors that are affected by this development.