Attribution of mental states and language: a study of intervention

In this study we investigate the effects of an intervention on the ability of attributing mental states of belief. We developed the work in three phases: pre-test, intervention and post-tests. The selected children were assigned randomly to compose the experimental group and control group. Forty-four children of both sexes, 3 to 4 years old, participated in the study. The intervention was based on the explanation of false belief tasks and was supported by demonstrations with the help of gestures and objects, and explanatory speech. The results indicated that children in the experimental group benefited from the intervention procedure. The activities encouraged the emergence of the ability to attribute mental states of belief. These findings support the hypotheses that point to the existence of a relationship between the ability of attributing mental states and language development.

Theory of mind; beliefs; language development


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