Attribution of Intentionality and Theory of Mind in Pre-school and School-aged Children

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The ability of understanding intentions of others is very important for social development of children (Feinfield, Lee, Flavell, Green, & Flavell, 1999). By means of understanding intentions children can make sense of that people and animates are different from objects (Feinfield, et al., 1999). According to Shantz (1983), this ability is the requisite to understand morality and responsibility. To understand plans and planning we also need to have the ability of understanding intentions (Feinfield, et al., 1999). In addition, Feinfield and colleagues stated that acquiring the ability of understanding intentions of others is also important for the cognitive development of the children such as theory of mind (ToM) that is “the understanding that others have beliefs, intentions and desires different from one’s own” (Kelly, 2011; p. 5). For these stated reasons many researchers have conducted various studies about the ability of understanding intentions of others. Several studies were carried out to determine when children begin to develop the ability of understanding intentions, which factors have an impact on this ability, how these factors influence the intention attribution and what the role of intention attribution plays for the associations between cognitive capacities and moral reasoning. One of the factors that are related to development of understanding intentions of others is theory of mind competence of the children (Kelly, 2011). Therefore, there are various researches that examined the development of understanding of intentions, its relations with ToM, direction of the relation and the role of the intention attribution as a sphere between ToM and moral judgment. In the present paper, the review of 9 studies that inves... ... middle of paper ... ...ct Effect Theory of Mind and Moral Judgment. Psychological Science, 17(5), 421-427. Loureiro, Carolina Piazzarollo, & Souza, Debora de Hollanda. (2013). The Relationship between Theory of Mind and Moral Development in Preschool Children. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto), 23(54), 93-101. Phillips, W., Baron‐Cohen, S., & Rutter, M. (1998). Understanding intention in normal development and in autism. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 16(3), 337-348. Shantz, (1983). Social cognition. In J. H. Flavell & E. M. Markman (Eds.), Handbook of Child Psychology, Vol. 3: Cognitive Development, 4th edition. (pp. 495– 555). New York: Wiley. Smetana, J. G., Jambon, M., Conry-Murray, C., & Sturge-Apple, M. L. (2012). Reciprocal associations between young children's developing moral judgments and theory of mind. Developmental psychology, 48(4), 1144.

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