Investigators have long sought to determine at what age children first show false-belief understanding (FBU), which is widely perceived to be an important facet of representational ToM. Initial studies using explicit tasks suggested that children are not capable of FBU until about 4 years of age (Baron-Cohen et al., 1985; Gopnik & Astington, 1988; Perner et al., 1987; Wimmer & Perner, 1983). Subsequent investigations using implicit tasks suggested that some capacity for FBU is already present in infancy (for a review, Scott & Baillargeon, 2017).
However, non- or partial- replications of implicit FBU findings have led a number of researchers to question the reliability and validity of implicit measures of FBU (Kulke et al., 2018; Low & Edwards, 2018; Powell et al., 2018; Rakoczy, 2012).
Goals of ToMcat project:
- Develop a videotaped violation-of expectation (VOE) task that measures implicit FBU in infants and toddlers Here we describe this new task and report the results of our first experiment.
- Assess the reliability and validity of our task by running a preregistered replication of our false-belief condition as well as a preregistered true-belief condition
- Conduct a multi-lab replication