Success in Theory of Mind


This symposium presents research exploring successful instances of theory of mind reasoning using a variety of experimental approaches, and examines the ability to succeed consistently across the lifespan, with results from toddlers, preschoolers, young children, and adults. Scott and Baillargeon present the first evidence that children as young as 2.5 years of age can successfully complete explicit false belief tasks. Petrashek and Friedman present the most direct behavioral evidence to date for inhibitory processing in successful behavior prediction based on false belief and avoidance desire in preschoolers and young children. Goodman presents evidence from adults for a probabilistic modeling approach to theory of mind and social learning development, and extends the discussion to pragmatic language usage and natural pedagogy. Saxe will conclude the symposium in the role of discussant.

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