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Exposure to behavioral regularities in everyday life predicts infants’ acquisition of mental state vocabulary

Exposure to behavioral regularities in everyday life predicts infants’ acquisition of mental... INTRODUCTIONThere are two primary views characterizing children's theory of mind (ToM) in infancy (for a recent review, see Rakoczy, 2022). First, many have argued that infants understand mental states and that this understanding is either innate (Baron‐Cohen, 1997; Legerstee et al., 2000; Leslie, 1987; Premack, 1990; Scott & Baillargeon, 2009) or in place within the first few months of life (Luo, 2011; Sodian, 2011; Vaish & Woodward, 2005). This view is sometimes referred to as mentalism. As evidence for their view, mentalists argue that young infants pass a range of ToM tasks said to tap an understanding of goals, knowledge and beliefs, and argue that they could only do this if they understood mental states (e.g., Scott & Baillargeon, 2009).In contrast, others have argued that ToM is acquired gradually through experience in the world. This view is sometimes called minimalism. A central claim of minimalism is that children have a rich exposure to patterns of behavior (regularities) in their environment that assists development of their ToM and that infants initially understand others’ behaviors but not their mental states (Perner, 2010; Perner & Ruffman, 2005; Ruffman & Perner, 2005; Ruffman, 2014; Ruffman et al., 2012). However, this claim has sometimes been criticized http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Developmental Science Wiley

Exposure to behavioral regularities in everyday life predicts infants’ acquisition of mental state vocabulary

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISSN
1363-755X
eISSN
1467-7687
DOI
10.1111/desc.13343
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

INTRODUCTIONThere are two primary views characterizing children's theory of mind (ToM) in infancy (for a recent review, see Rakoczy, 2022). First, many have argued that infants understand mental states and that this understanding is either innate (Baron‐Cohen, 1997; Legerstee et al., 2000; Leslie, 1987; Premack, 1990; Scott & Baillargeon, 2009) or in place within the first few months of life (Luo, 2011; Sodian, 2011; Vaish & Woodward, 2005). This view is sometimes referred to as mentalism. As evidence for their view, mentalists argue that young infants pass a range of ToM tasks said to tap an understanding of goals, knowledge and beliefs, and argue that they could only do this if they understood mental states (e.g., Scott & Baillargeon, 2009).In contrast, others have argued that ToM is acquired gradually through experience in the world. This view is sometimes called minimalism. A central claim of minimalism is that children have a rich exposure to patterns of behavior (regularities) in their environment that assists development of their ToM and that infants initially understand others’ behaviors but not their mental states (Perner, 2010; Perner & Ruffman, 2005; Ruffman & Perner, 2005; Ruffman, 2014; Ruffman et al., 2012). However, this claim has sometimes been criticized

Journal

Developmental ScienceWiley

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Keywords: mentalism; minimalism; theory of mind

References