Making sense of early false-belief understanding
A new article from Helming, K. A., Strickland, B., & Jacob, P. (2014). Making sense of early false-belief understanding. Trends in Cognitive Sciences(0). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2014.01.005
Abstract: We address the puzzle about early belief ascription: young children fail elicited-response false-belief tasks, but they demonstrate spontaneous false-belief understanding. Based on recent converging evidence, we articulate a pragmatic framework to solve this puzzle. Young children do understand the contents of others’ false belief, but they are overwhelmed when they must simultaneously make sense of two distinct actions: the instrumental action of a mistaken agent and the experimenter's communicative action.