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Preschoolers' desire understanding and its relation to prosocial behavior

By Nicole Martinez


Theory of mind in humans allows for communication, interaction and socialization. Through the development of a theory of mind children understand first that others have desires, and after this an understanding of belief develops, resulting in a complete theory of mind. The present study investigates the desire portion of theory of mind and its relationship to the amount and quality of prosocial behaviors preschool children engage in, as measured by teachers and parents. Prosocial behavior and desire understanding were significantly correlated, when prosocial actions were rated by teachers, while parent ratings of prosocial behavior were not related to levels of desire understanding. The effects of age, gender and classroom designation on prosocial behavior and desire understanding are examined and implications for future research are discussed

Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:triceratops.brynmawr.edu:10066/744
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