The aim of this study was to test two competing causal models concerning the relationship between children’s social behaviors and theory of mind. Children between 3 and 4 years of age (n = 20) at the time of first testing were assessed three times over approximately 7 months. Theory of mind was assessed using false belief tasks. Children were videotaped during play with a friend, and measures of pretend play, joint planning, and explicit role assignment were made on the basis of transcripts. Theory of mind understanding was found to predict joint planning and role assignment, after taking into account initial performance on joint planning and role assignment, as well as contemporaneous language ability and age. There was no evidence that social behaviors predicted children’s theory of mind.
Jenkins, Jennifer M. and Wilde Astington, Janet
"Theory of Mind and Social Behavior:
Causal Models Tested in a Longitudinal Study,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 46
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol46/iss2/3