Theory of mind: False Belief

In this world, we see many things that could be very deceiving to our eye. We may think what we see is really true to the eye, but there is always something that is between the lines or in the fine print. Theory of the mind is the most important development in a child's development. theory of the mind in regard to false belief is The ability to understand what others think and believe the core definition of a cognitive skill. It's always wondered how Children see the world. With this theory of false belief, we can understand that an individual’s belief or representation about the world may contrast with reality. (Thompson, 2017). Theory of the mind is a false belief task that measured in a few ways. In this study, we will be demonstrating one of the tasks. This task will be able to measure a child's understanding about what the belief about an object, but it does not really match what the child truly knows. a child develops Theory of the mind roughly around the age of 4 and they are more ahead in social development skills. children with autism or even spectrum disorder, it may take a child to develop theories of the mind a little longer to develop and even not have certain higher-level skills reached at all (Thompson,2017). It has been said that if a child is able to understand false belief then they are able to engage in meaningful conversation and are able to resolve conflict and able to maintain intimate friendships (Thomsoon, 2017). I hypothesize that the child that is 3 years old will say that their sibling thinks that there are marbles in the box of Skittles. Theory of the mind plays a huge role in the development of children it is related to social competence and executive functions (Thompson, 2010)

In the current study, we will be doing a false belief with two children of the age of 3 and 4. the task will compose of showing the children a box of Skittles but is really filled with marbles and ask the child what he/she think is inside the box. Also, proceed to ask the child what they think they're sibling that is in the other room will think is in the box.

Participants

There were two participants in this study. Both participants are African American children. A 3-year-old girl named Elena and a 4-year-old boy named Xavier.

 
Materials

The materials that were used was a box of Skittles, 8 small marbles. A table and two chairs.

Procedure

The experiment took place in a living room with a table and two chairs that were facing each other so the experimenter and the subject would be sitting across from each other. For this experiment, Elena did the experiment while Xavier was in the other room playing video games. The experimenter asks Elena to sit right across from her. The experimenter than proceed to pull out the box of Skittles with 8 small marbles in them. Elena is a bit timid and usually takes her time before she talks to you are even getting a bit comfortable with you. The experimenter begins with me asking Elena “what she thinks is in the box of Skittles?” 

Elena than a response with “skittles, the red one is my favorite”. she stutters a bit, but her final answer was Skittles and explain how she likes the red skittle the most. I asked Elena to open the box saying “let's see…. I asked her what she sees, and she responded with “its marbles” then I close the box. Elena says, “I knew there were marbles in there and you tried to trick me she laughs”. Then I asked Elena “Xavier has never seen what is in the box, what do you think Xavier will think is in the box of Skittles”. Elena responded with “he’s going to think marbles”. I asked Elena the last question of what she thought was in the box originally? Elena than say “Marbles”. I did the same experiment with Xavier to see how he would react. I began the experiment with call Xavier into the living room. I asked him to sit right across from me. I then proceed to pull out the box of Skittles with 8 small marbles in them. The experimenter begins by asking Xavier “what he thinks is in the box of Skittles?” he replies with “Skittles”. then I ask Xavier to open the box saying “let's see… Xavier said that he thought there were skittles in the box of Skittles and then he found there were marbles. Results After doing the experiment with Elena and Xavier, I was able to get two different answers from both children. When Elena noticed that it was just marbles in the Skittle box, she was confident that she already knew it was marbles. As a 3-year-old, she knew that Xavier did not see what is in the box, but she still responded that Xavier thinks that there are marbles in the box. Elena does not really recognize that her brother exists as an independent thinker. Now when I conducted the experiment with Xavier, he thought there were skittles in the box. But then he found out there were marbles in the box. But when he was asked what he thought Elena thinks is in the box, he was able to say that she will think it is Skittles. thus, explaining that by the time children are at the age of Xavier, they have the view of the mind that looks more like our view of the mind. they understand that things can be tricky and deceptive, that you can change your mind and that things are not always what they seem. Giving them a different vision of how the mind works and how people are too. In the graph shown below, it is seen that Both subjects got the answer wrong and did not know what was really in the box. But when it came to ask what they thought the other might think is in the box, Xavier was able to answer that his sister Elena would think it is Skittles in the box. 

Discussion

In this study, we were able to understand False belief task through the eyes of a 3-year old and a 4-year-old child. With the help of this theory, this experiment was able to support my hypotheses that the child that is 3 years old will say that their sibling thinks that there are marbles in the box of Skittles. For this experiment, the limitations were that it limited a child understanding of mental representation. this task seems to allow the child to answer correctly without reasoning about beliefs. For further suggestions I would come up with a different question are modifying the task.

Reference Thompson, B. (2017, July 3). Theory of Mind: Understanding Others in a Social World. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/socioemotional-success/201707/theory-mind-understanding-others-in-social-world

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