Two routes to perspective: simulation and rule-use as approaches to mentalizing

Mitchell, P. and Currie, G. and Ziegler, Fenja (2009) Two routes to perspective: simulation and rule-use as approaches to mentalizing. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 27 (3). pp. 513-543. ISSN 0261-510x

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Two routes to perspective: simulation and rule-use as approaches to mentalizing
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Abstract

We review evidence relating to children's ability to acknowledge false beliefs within a simulation account according to which our focus is set by default to the world as we know it: hence, our current beliefs assume salience over beliefs that do not fall into this category. The model proposes that the ease with which we imaginatively shift from this default depends on the salience of our current belief, relative to the salience of the belief that is being simulated. However, children do use a rule-based approach for mentalizing in some contexts, which has the advantage of protecting them from the salience of their own belief. Rule-based mentalizing judgements might be faster, cognitively easier and less prone to error, relative to simulation-based judgements that are much influenced by salience. We propose that although simulation is primary, rule-based approaches develop as a shortcut; we thus grow from individuals capable of using only simulation into individuals capable of both techniques.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:We review evidence relating to children's ability to acknowledge false beliefs within a simulation account according to which our focus is set by default to the world as we know it: hence, our current beliefs assume salience over beliefs that do not fall into this category. The model proposes that the ease with which we imaginatively shift from this default depends on the salience of our current belief, relative to the salience of the belief that is being simulated. However, children do use a rule-based approach for mentalizing in some contexts, which has the advantage of protecting them from the salience of their own belief. Rule-based mentalizing judgements might be faster, cognitively easier and less prone to error, relative to simulation-based judgements that are much influenced by salience. We propose that although simulation is primary, rule-based approaches develop as a shortcut; we thus grow from individuals capable of using only simulation into individuals capable of both techniques.
Keywords:false-belief tasks, young childrens difficulty, autism spectrum disorders, mirror neuron dysfunction, test-retest reliability, Social cognition, domain-specificity, premotor cortex, Mind, Knowledge
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C820 Developmental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:3462
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:20 Oct 2010 19:43
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:48

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