This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Status Of Language In The Development Of A Theory Of Mind

4995 words - 20 pages

The Status of Language in the Development of a Theory of Mind

The study of the development of 'theory of mind' skills in children
became popular when the false-belief task was invented in the 1980's,
providing cognitive scientists with the focus of a clear experimental
paradigm. This tested the ability of the young child to attribute
false beliefs to others in order to explain their actions. Researchers
then began to investigate the developmental stages through which
children acquire these theory of mind abilities.

This essay will examine the nature of this acquisition process,
studying two opposing views of theory of mind development in the young
child; whether it can be explained by the modular nature of the
cognitive process, where the ability is innate but must be triggered
by input from the child's environment, or whether it exists as a
developing theory, a set of causal principles progressively formulated
by the child through observation and hypothesis formation. We also
consider the role played by the language faculty, particularly the
question of whether the acquisition of a natural language is causally
necessary for the development of a theory of mind in the young child.

A 'theory of mind' refers to the cognitive ability to interpret,
predict and explain the behaviour of others in terms of their
underlying mental states. This theory is universal among all normal
humans, and becomes accessible during childhood. It is also
metarepresentational. It demands that we not only employ propositional
attitudes, but also that we employ them about propositional attitudes;
we have beliefs about the beliefs of ourselves and others. This also
applies in cases where the embedded belief is false.

The original false belief test pioneered by Wimmer and Perner [1],
involved a character, Maxi, who places some chocolate in some location
and then leaves the room. The chocolate is moved to a different
location, and the child is then asked where Maxi will look for the
chocolate when he returns. The child succeeds this task if he
understands that Maxi believes that the chocolate is where he left it,
thereby attributing a false belief to Maxi; the child is able to
represent not just the state of the world, but also Maxi's
representation of the world.

This leads us to ask the obvious developmental question of how this
concept of belief and therefore the theory of mind, is acquired. The
suggestion that it is learnt is dubious, because of the particularly
abstract nature of mental states; children are eventually able to make
predictions about mental states that they cannot hear, feel or see.
The alternative is to propose that the capacity to acquire a theory of
mind has an innate basis.

The Development of Theory of Mind

The Modularist Approach

The modularist approach is...

Find Another Essay On The Status of Language in the Development of a Theory of Mind

The Development of Women’s Social Status in Bangladesh

1382 words - 6 pages type of improvement difficult. Whether it is literacy rates, equality, or resources, everything is an uncertainty. Therefore, the status of women remains the same from early 19th century to the 21st century. Meager changes have been made for the status of women in Bangladesh and may never improve at all. It is unfortunate that the status of women in Bangladesh has not improved in a rapidly evolving century because it leaves little hope for the future. Works Cited "Women and Islam in Bangladesh" Taj ul-Islam Hashmi "Reshaping the Holy Democracy: Development and Muslim Women in Bangladesh" Elora Shehabuddin.

Forever in the Mind of a Soldier

972 words - 4 pages anything, though, the stockings were a talisman for him. They kept him safe.”(111-112) Mr. Henry Dobbins uses the smell of his girlfriend to keep his mind tied to home and to keep him safe. They are what helps keep him motivated in the war and perhaps give him a taste of bravery. While all the happiness and thoughts of home helps, each man will be traumatized by the things they witness. Almost every human endures some sort of trauma in their

The Mind of a Nazi

1204 words - 5 pages mentally ill into concentration camps as well as the Jews. Despite all the evidence disproving this theory, some people today deny that the Holocaust ever even happened. Most of the claims made by skeptics imply that the Holocaust was a hoax used to spark interest in Jews. Some say the Holocaust was a scheme devised by enemy countries to demonize Germany. Supporters of Nazism refuse to put any blame for the deaths of Jews on the Nazis at all

A Pandemic of the Mind

1202 words - 5 pages A disease is sweeping the nation. No, it does not involve fevers and running noses, but instead of a disease of the body, it is a disease of the mind: academic cheating. There are several different forms of academic cheating; from a student simply glancing at her seatmate’s paper to absolute plagiarism. There are various reasons which include such as desperation, ignorance and indolence. Cheating in any form is detrimental not only to the

The Mind of a Playwright

815 words - 4 pages tell us his beliefs. Antigone in particular reveals facts about Sophocles that shows an interesting light upon him. It, along with his other plays, shows an interesting take on his beliefs about the Greek gods and goddess, and his views on a single person’s morality vs. the power and morality of the state, along with his values and philosophy. When it comes to his views on religion, Sophocles is in a special category of people that you would

English Language Development: The Effects of a French Invasion

1213 words - 5 pages it is today, a feat that would have been impossible had the Normans not invaded. In the early stages of the development of the English language, English or “Englisc” as it was called was a very basic and purely oral language. “Englisc” was the language of the Celts, who inhabited what is now modern day England, until it was invaded by Julius Caesar in 55 BC. Unlike many other regions that were conquered by the Roman Empire, Latin was not pressed

THE STATUS OF WOMEN

877 words - 4 pages Do women have equal rights as men? Can they balance their housework, take care of kids and work outside homes? Do men in our society always overshadow their existence? These questions came to my mind when I first thought about the changes in the status of women from ancient times to the women of today. Throughout history, most societies have held women in an inferior status compared to men. This situation was often justified as being the natural

The Sun Will Come Out Amara A study of the language development of a Cambodian girl in the United States

2341 words - 9 pages recounts herself, when she entered Junior High the only English she knew was "How are you?" and "I need the bathroom", and she was repeatedly teased about her speaking ability all the way through high school.As I have already noted, Amara also had little if any understanding of the educational system, providing her with a tremendous deficit in "academic competence" (Saville-Troike, 1984). Simply put, she had no language proficiency, background

The Determination of a Topic’s Scientific Status

970 words - 4 pages determining whether something was a science, or not a science, was using inductive reasoning resulting from conducting a test or series of tests to support a theory. He concluded that this solution would not be adequate enough and claimed that “the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability” (Curd et al. 2013, 7). Popper summarized his ideas, which resulted in the aforementioned claim, in the following seven points that: 1

Does Theory of Mind Exist at the Age of Three

1306 words - 5 pages , cognitive processes and individual differences. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(5), 825-839. Astington, J.W., & Hughes, C. (2013). Theory of mind: Self-reflection and social understanding. In P. D. Zelazo (Ed.), Oxford handbook of developmental psychology. New York: Oxford University Press Astington, J. W., & Jenkins, J. M. (1999). A longitudinal study of the relation between language and theory-of-mind development. Developmental

The Biological Basis of Language Development

4019 words - 16 pages , Chomsky holds there pre-exists in humans, a language structure that is one of the faculties of the mind, common to the species,…a faculty of language that serves the two basic functions of rationalist theory: it provides a sensory system for the preliminary analysis of linguistic data, and a schematism that determines, quite narrowly, a certain class of grammars. Each grammar is a theory of a particular language, specifying oral and semantic

Similar Essays

Blind Faith And False Belief: An Examination Of The Development Of Theory Of Mind In Children With Congenital Profound Visual Impairment

1893 words - 8 pages The purpose of this paper is to closely examine the effects of children with congenital profound visual impairment (CPVI) and a possible correlation to the delay in the development of theory of mind (ToM). Specifically, this paper will compare a study that investigated how visual cues affect the development of ToM to a similarly themed episode from the popular television show Xena: Warrior Princess. On the surface these two groups may appear to

The Relationship Between The Mind And Language Development

793 words - 3 pages Language is the most important means of interaction for a person’s development; and a beautiful gift. Our thoughts, feelings, needs and wants make us human. But in order to share the emotions, one needs to communicate through the use of language. The practice of language is highly important from the early years. I intend to look at the relation to how language rules the mind. Along with this, one will see how language facilitates one’s thinking

The Development Of A Criminal Mind

1354 words - 5 pages The Development of a Criminal Mind In today’s society, one will find that there are many different factors that go into the development of a criminal mind, and it is impossible to single out one particular cause of criminal behavior. Criminal behavior often stems from both biological and environmental factors. In many cases criminals share similar physical traits which the general population do not usually have. For example criminals

Development Of The American Mind Essay

1351 words - 5 pages . In looking so closely at God's world, people formed a new image of God himself. Where he had formerly been an arbitrary monarch, who glorified himself in the damnation of simmers and the salvation of saints, he now became a divine craftsmen whose glory lay in his craftsmanship. The new God appeared more reasonable than the old. Locke furnished a theory about reason that eventually won acceptance and further encouraged the pursuit of experiment