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November 2021

Children's understanding of mind and emotion: A multi-culture study

Journal/Book: Cognition Emotion. 1999; 13: 27 Church Rd, Hove BN3 2FA, East Sussex, England. Psychology Press. 19-48.

Abstract: Previous research on the development of children's understanding of mind and emotion has shown that children in Western literate cultures become able to explain emotion in terms of belief (i.e. Interpretations of events) between the ages of three and five. This research was conducted in four different cultural groups (three non-Western and one Western) to test the hypothesis that prediction of emotion based on false belief develops universally. The results show that most children from a variety of cultures eventually develop an understanding of belief as it affects behaviour. Children from all cultures also were able to make correct desire-based judgments about emotion. The children from Western literate cultures came to understand belief-based emotion shortly after they came to understand false belief. Almost all children from non-Western cultures however, had difficulty predicting an emotion based on a false belief about the world.

Note: Article Vinden PG, Clark Univ, Dept Psychol, 950 Main St, Worcester,MA 01610 USA

Keyword(s): DESIRES; BELIEFS


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