Preschoolers' Understanding of Future Preferences and Its Relation to Theory of Mind and Executive Function Abilities

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Title: Preschoolers' Understanding of Future Preferences and Its Relation to Theory of Mind and Executive Function Abilities
Authors: Mantha, Michèle Jeanne
Date: 2016
Abstract: The aim of this dissertation was to explore whether preschoolers understand that preferences differ over time and between people. The first goal was to determine if 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds could appreciate that their future or “grown-up” preferences may differ from their current ones (self-future condition). This understanding was compared to children’s understanding of the preferences of a grown-up (adult-now condition), or the grown-up preferences of a same-aged peer (peer-future condition). Results from 3 experiments (N = 240) suggest that these types of reasoning develop substantially over the preschool years, and that children are generally proficient by 5 years of age. Results also indicate that thinking about one’s own future preferences is more difficult than thinking about the (future) preferences of others. The second goal of this dissertation was to explore the relations between reasoning about preferences and theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF) abilities. Correlational analyses revealed that children’s reasoning about their future preferences and those of others was associated with EF skills, but not with ToM. These findings provide a timely contribution to the expanding research on children’s future-oriented cognition. Implications for theories about perspective-taking abilities, more broadly, and future research are also discussed.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34222
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5196
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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