Two Mentalizing Capacities and the Understanding of Two Types of Lie Telling in Children
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AbstractThis study examined the interrelationships among second-order belief, interpretive theory of mind, inhibitory control, and the understanding of strategic versus white lies in 54 children approximately 5 years 7 months old. Results showed that second-order belief was associated with strategic-lie understanding, whereas interpretive theory of mind predicted white-lie understanding. The current findings suggest that different aspects of mentalizing are involved in understanding strategic versus white lies. Strategic lies are about manipulating another mind's information content in relation to reality, and therefore to understand them; the child needs to be able to think about the mind as a representational agent holding either correct or incorrect information. This capacity is captured by traditional false-belief tasks. On the other hand, white lies are about hiding one's true feeling or opinion about reality out of a prosocial motive and are less subject to verification against external information. Hence, to understand white lies, the child needs to be able to see the mind as an interpretive agent and allow different minds to interpret even the same information differently.
All Author(s) ListHsu YK, Cheung H
Journal nameDevelopmental Psychology
Detailed descriptionAdvance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0031128.
Volume Number49
Issue Number9
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
Pages1650 - 1659
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsfalse belief; interpretive theory of mind; lies; theory of mind; white lies
Web of Science Subject CategoriesPsychology; Psychology, Developmental; PSYCHOLOGY, DEVELOPMENTAL

Last updated on 2020-19-10 at 02:15