The development of a theory of mind is a cognitive ability which develops during childhood. As young children grow up they need to be develop an understanding of internal states such as beliefs, desires and perceptions. These internal states are very fundamental in predicting the behaviour of others and in the development of theory of mind in young children (GOPNIK and WELLMAN, 1992). Research has shown that even in infancy children seem to have some ideas how- ever ambiguous, of internal states such as beliefs, desires and perceptions (GOPNIK and WELLMAN, 1992). As a matter of fact, the psychological knowledge of two year olds seem to be largely structured around desire...
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...that it looked like an eraser, disregarding the cookie-like appearance of the eraser (Taylor and Hort, 1990). This suggests that the children aged three found it difficult to represent the same object or event in more than one way hence why they could not mentally represent the eraser as being both an eraser and looking like a cookie (Taylor and Hort, 1990) .This supports the claim that they have a limited understanding of mental representations and as such lack a theory of mind.
In conclusion, it can be established from experimental evidence provided by psychologist that by the age of four most children have develop a theory of mind however it would be inaccurate to conclude that the development of a theory of mind is conceptual or not conceptual as many psychologists have provided several experimental and theoretical evidence to support both sides of the argument.
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