Knowledge and Belief Understanding Among Iranian and Australian Preschool Children

Shahaeian, Ameneh, Nielsen, Mark, Peterson, Candida C., Aboutalebi, Maedeh and Slaughter, Virginia (2014) Knowledge and Belief Understanding Among Iranian and Australian Preschool Children. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45 10: 1643-1654. doi:10.1177/0022022114548484

Author Shahaeian, Ameneh
Nielsen, Mark
Peterson, Candida C.
Aboutalebi, Maedeh
Slaughter, Virginia
Title Knowledge and Belief Understanding Among Iranian and Australian Preschool Children
Journal name Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0221
Publication date 2014-11-12
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0022022114548484
Volume 45
Issue 10
Start page 1643
End page 1654
Total pages 12
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
For more than three decades, considerable research effort has been expended in documenting children’s development of a theory of mind (ToM), or the recognition that behavior is determined by mental states. Studies comparing ToM development in children from Western and non-Western countries have shown differences in patterns of development in various ToM tasks. Specifically, Iranian children are slower than their Australian counterparts to acknowledge that people have diverse beliefs, but at the same time they have relatively advanced understanding of how people acquire new knowledge. In the current study, our aim was to further investigate this cross-cultural pattern by evaluating 3- and 4-year-old Australian and Iranian children’s belief and knowledge understanding across a range of distinct tasks designed to reflect culturally familiar situations. Results confirmed that the Iranian children were faster than the Australians in mastering tasks assessing the understanding of how and when knowledge is acquired. Iranian children, however, lag behind in passing diverse belief tasks. Scores in false belief tasks were comparable across both countries. These findings are discussed with reference to socio-cultural differences across the two countries.
Keyword Belief understanding
False Belief
Knowledge acquisition
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 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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