To test young children's false belief theory of mind in a morally relevant context, two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, children (N= 162) at 3.5, 5.5, and 7.5. years of age were administered three tasks: prototypic moral transgression task, false belief theory of mind task (ToM), and an " accidental transgressor" task, which measured a morally-relevant false belief theory of mind (MoToM). Children who did not pass false belief ToM were more likely to attribute negative intentions to an accidental transgressor than children who passed false belief ToM, and to use moral reasons when blaming the accidental transgressor. In Experiment 2, children (N= 46) who did not pass false belief ToM viewed it as more acceptable to punish the accidental transgressor than did participants who passed false belief ToM. Findings are discussed in light of research on the emergence of moral judgment and theory of mind.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Cognitive Neuroscience