Do you know what I know?

Alexandria Rushley, The College of Wooster


Standard tasks used to test theory of mind demand a certain level of language ability that may prevent younger children and children at a lower language level from exhibiting their understanding of theory of mind. Verbal and nonverbal versions of a standard theory of mind task, as well as a measure of language development, were administered to 27 preschoolers. Results showed that expressive language ability influenced verbal theory of mind performance, while no aspect of language had a significant impact on nonverbal theory of mind performance. Therefore, nonverbal tasks may be a better measure of theory of mind in preschoolers because they do not contain the inherent language demands present in verbal theory of mind tasks.