Developing organization of mental verbs and theory of mind in middle childhood: evidence from extensions.

P. J. Schwanenflugel, R. L. Henderson, W. V. Fabricius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to assess developments in the theory of mind suggested by changes in the organization of cognitive verb extensions during the elementary school years. Adults and 3rd- and 5th-grade children were provided with a set of mental activity scenarios and were asked to select the best verbs from a list of cognitive verbs that might apply to each scenario. Changes in organization were assessed by examining overlapping uses of cognitive verbs in different contexts. There were 3 major changes with development: (a) the understanding of the role of memory in input functions increased, (b) the interrelatedness of memory- and comprehension-related verbs increased, and (c) the importance of cognitive certainty and uncertainty engaged by constructive processing verbs increased. Together, these findings suggest that a constructivist theory of mind develops in later childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-524
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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