Relationship between implicit false belief understanding and role play: Longitudinal study.

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    • Abstract:
      Pretend play is one of the earliest forms of children’s imagination. While social pretend play (role play) may facilitate the development of theory of mind – including false belief understanding – theoretically, the reverse may be true; theory of mind may facilitate the development of role play. To clarify this relationship, the present longitudinal study examined whether toddler’s implicit understanding of false beliefs predicted their role play during preschool years. We examined 18-month-old toddlers’ looking time in an implicit false-belief task (Time 1). When the children were 4/5 years old (Time 2), children’s parents answered a questionnaire on their child’s engagement in role play, such as playing with an imaginary companion and impersonating an imagined character. Toddlers’ looking time in the false-belief task at Time 1 predicted impersonation scores at Time 2. The results suggest that early theory of mind skills can facilitate children’s role play. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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