Why Language Matters for Theory of Mind

Hardcover | March 9, 2005

EditorJanet Wilde Astington, Jodie A. Baird, Jodie Baird

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"Theory of mind" is the phrase researchers use to refer to children's understanding of people as mental beings, who have beliefs, desires, emotions, and intentions, and whose actions and interactions can be interpreted and explained by taking account of these mental states. The gradualdevelopment of children's theory of mind, particularly during the early years, is by now well described in the research literature. What is lacking, however, is a decisive explanation of how children acquire this understanding. Recent research has shown strong relations between children's linguisticabilities and their theory of mind. Yet exactly what role these abilities play is controversial and uncertain. The purpose of this book is to provide a forum for the leading scholars in the field to explore thoroughly the role of language in the development of the theory of mind. This volume willappeal to students and researchers in developmental and cognitive psychology.

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"Theory of mind" is the phrase researchers use to refer to children's understanding of people as mental beings, who have beliefs, desires, emotions, and intentions, and whose actions and interactions can be interpreted and explained by taking account of these mental states. The gradualdevelopment of children's theory of mind, particula...

Janet Wilde Astington is in the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Jodie A. Baird in in the Department of Psychology, Villanova University.

other books by Janet Wilde Astington

The Child's Discovery of the Mind
The Child's Discovery of the Mind

Paperback|Jan 10 1994

$33.41 online$35.95list price(save 7%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.98 inPublished:March 9, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195159918

ISBN - 13:9780195159912

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Janet Wilde Astington and Jodie A. Baird: Why language matters: Introduction to the volumeChapter 2. Katherine Nelson: Language pathways into the community of mindsChapter 3. Judy Dunn and Marcia Brophy: Communication, relationships, and individual differences in children's understanding of mindChapter 4. Paul L. Harris: Conversation, pretense and theory of mindChapter 5. Danielle K. O'Neill: Talking about "new" information: The given/new distinction and children's developing theory of mindChapter 6. Derek E. Montgomery: The developmental origins of meaning for mental termsChapter 7. Dare Baldwin and Megan Saylor: Language promotes structural alignment in the acquisition of mentalistic conceptsChapter 8. Sophie Jaques and Philip David Zelazo: Language and the development of cognitive flexibilityChapter 9. Janet Wilde: Representational development and false-belief understandingChapter 10. Jill G. de Villiers: Can language acquisition give children a point of view?Chapter 11. Josef Perner, Petra Zauner, and Manuel Sprung: What does "that" have to do with point of view? Conflicting desires and "want" in German.Chapter 12. Heidemarie Lohmann, Michael Tommasello, and Sonja Meyer: Linguistic communication and social understandingChapter 13. Peter A. de Villiers: The role of language in theory-of-mind development: What deaf children tell us.Chapter 14. Helen Tager-Flusberg and Robert M. Joseph: How language facilitates the acquisition of false-belief understanding in children with autismChapter 15. Claire Hughes: Genetic and environmental influences on individual differences in language and theory of mind: Common or distinct?

Editorial Reviews

"...this book offers all the inspiration and a good deal of the background necessary for child language researchers to start contributing to ToM-language debate."--Child Language