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Chapter 7: Conceptual Development very detailed lecture notes from chapter 7: conceptual development

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 211
Professor
Ori Friedman
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 7 – Conceptual Development “Concept”  Many different ideas about what a “concept” is  Thoughts are composed of concepts  Cartoons – to be able to get the joke, you have to be able to understand what other people are thinking, or how they view the world  We have an ability to consider how others see the world, using this ability makes the cartoons funny (ex. what the characters know, think, believe, and want)  In order to understand how people act (behaviour), you must think about their beliefs and wants  Mental state concepts: know, think, believe, want (ex. your belief is a mental state, someone else thinking about your belief is using their concept of your mental state  Animals cannot think about beliefs, but they can have them  There is a distinction between having mental states and reasoning about them  Reasoning about these mental states are called: naive psychology (folk psychology), theory of mind, mental state reasoning  Main points: 1. Generally, understanding and predicting human actions requires the ability to think about beliefs and desires 2. These mental states are invisible 3. Mental states are abstract (difficult to define) 4. Understanding mental states starts relatively early 5. Some mental states (especially beliefs) are representational of the world  How do we investigate children’s reasoning about beliefs?  Tell children a story: Sally puts her ball in the basket, then leaves, Anne moves the ball to the box, Sally comes back, where will she look for the ball?  To pass the test – children cannot just think about where the ball actually is, children have to understand where Sally thinks (believes) the ball is  Lots of debates about the results  Basic finding is that 3 year olds typically fail, 4 year olds will typically pass  This is a false belief task (Sally had the false belief)...why not use a true belief task? o True belief task – Anne would move the ball while Sally is watching o Doesn’t test her understanding of her beliefs – it is possible for children to pass the task without having the understanding of beliefs (just reality is needed) o Doesn’t test the thing that it’s supposed to test  Different kind of false belief task o Cheerios box, think that Cheerios are in the box, experimenter shows that Gumbi is in the box, he ate all the Cheerios, put Gumbi back in the box, what will Mike say is in the box? ...Cheerios (false belief – “deceptive container”) o “When I first showed you this box, before we opened it, what did you think was inside?” 5-year old will say “Cheerios,” 3-year old will say “Gumbi” (3 year olds can’t apply a false belief to others, or to themselves) o “self question” sometimes called “representational change” question o Ways to get 3 year olds to pass: 1. Highlighting deception  Highlight trickery/deceptive intent  Ex. say the word “trick” a lot, children will be more likely to pass 2. No-see version  Two boxes (red and blue), puppet frog tells the child that the object is under the red box, frog tells rabbit that the carrot is under the blue box  3 year olds will now pass the task  Task gets harder again if the child gets to see the object and where it really is  Possible that when child sees the object, it gets “burned” into their brain, and is harder to not remember it Chapter 7 – Conceptual Development 3. Violation of expectation & anticipatory looking  Children will pass using violation of expectation versions of false beliefs task (at 15 months old)  Measure how long the child stares at what is in front of them without looking away  If the task is simple and non-verbal enough, even babies have some ability to pass the task  Related task – Appearance-Reality Task o “What does it look like?” and “What is it really?” o 4 year olds pass, typically 3 year olds fail (will answer what it actually is all the times)  however, there are ways that the experimenter can get the 3 year olds to pass o Ex. looks like a rock, but it actually is a sponge o Not a false belief task, can be turned into one by asking “If Mike walks in, what will he think it is?” or “When you first saw this, what did you think it was?” Theories of “Theory of Mind” Development (rely more on these notes than textbook) 1. ‘Theory theory’ and soci
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