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Understanding the Mind or Predicting Signal-Dependent Action? Performance of Children With and Without Autism on Analogues of the False-Belief Task

Bowler, D. M., Briskman, J., Gurvidi, N. and Fornells-Ambrojo, M. (2005). Understanding the Mind or Predicting Signal-Dependent Action? Performance of Children With and Without Autism on Analogues of the False-Belief Task. Journal of Cognition and Development, 6(2), pp. 259-283. doi: 10.1207/s15327647jcd0602_5

Abstract

To evaluate the claim that correct performance on unexpected transfer false-belief tasks specifically involves mental-state understanding, two experiments were carried out with children with autism, intellectual disabilities, and typical development. In both experiments, children were given a standard unexpected transfer false-belief task and a mental-state-free, mechanical analogue task in which participants had to predict the destination of a train based on true or false signal information. In both experiments, performance on the mechanical task was found to correlate with that on the false-belief task for all groups of children. Logistic regression showed that performance on the mechanical analogue significantly predicted performance on the false-belief task even after accounting for the effects of verbal mental age. The findings are discussed in relation to possible common mechanisms underlying correct performance on the two tasks.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Cognition and Development in 2005, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15327647jcd0602_5
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/17580
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