Culture and the sequence of steps in Theory of Mind development

Shahaeian, Ameneh, Peterson, Candida C., Slaughter, Virginia and Wellman, Henry M. (2011) Culture and the sequence of steps in Theory of Mind development. Developmental Psychology, 47 5: 1239-1247. doi:10.1037/a0023899

Author Shahaeian, Ameneh
Peterson, Candida C.
Slaughter, Virginia
Wellman, Henry M.
Title Culture and the sequence of steps in Theory of Mind development
Journal name Developmental Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-1649
Publication date 2011-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/a0023899
Volume 47
Issue 5
Start page 1239
End page 1247
Total pages 9
Place of publication Washington, DC, U.S.A.
Publisher American Psychological Association
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To examine cultural contrasts in the ordered sequence of conceptual developments leading to theory of mind (ToM), we compared 135 3- to 6-year-olds (77 Australians; 58 Iranians) on an established 5-step ToM scale (Wellman & Liu, 2004). There was a cross-cultural difference in the sequencing of ToM steps but not in overall rates of ToM mastery. In line with our predictions, the children from Iran conformed to a distinctive sequence previously observed only in children in China. In contrast to the case with children from Australia (and the United States), knowledge access was understood earlier than opinion diversity in children from Iran, consistent with this collectivist culture’s emphasis on filial respect, dispute avoidance, and acquiring knowledge. Having a sibling was linked with faster overall ToM progress in Australia only and was not related to scale sequences in either culture.
Keyword Theory of mind
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 47 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 48 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 16 Mar 2012, 15:17:37 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology