3 years ago

Revisiting Young Children's Understanding of the Psychological Causes of Behavior

Patricia A. Aloise-Young, Patricia H. Miller
In 1989, Miller and Aloise challenged the prevailing belief that preschoolers tend to explain others' behavior in terms of external events or a person's physical attributes and have little understanding of psychological causes. That review documented preschoolers' understanding of, and even preference for, psychological causes as part of an emerging renaissance in developmental social-cognitive research. The present, updated review (97 articles, participant ages 3 months to 6 years) suggests the emergence of a transformative new perspective in which social-cognition is balanced between social and cognitive aspects rather than tilted toward cognition. Recent research on infants' awareness of mental states, young children's understanding of social categories and their judgments of the trustworthiness of informants, and cultural context reveals various ways in which preschoolers' social-causal reasoning is social.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12891

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