Institutional Repository, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
|Alternative Title||Children’s theory of mind development: Cultural perspectives|
|侯晓晖1; 宫竹青2,3; 颜志雄1; 苏彦捷4; 左西年1,2,3|
We focus our review on the cross-cultural studies on the development of theory of mind. We present evidence that the acquisition and development of theory of mind is cultural-universal as well as cultural-specific. Although children from different cultural backgrounds pass false belief task at about 4 years old, they show significant difference in timing and sequence in understanding of different mental states. To explore influential factors in the development of children’s theory of mind, more researchers begin to focus on the effect of macroscopic cultural backgrounds. This paper review the cultural differences between East and West in parent-child talk, parental rearing pattern, pedagogical experience and development of executive function, and their relations with children’s theory of mind to understand cultural specificity of Eastern children’s theory of mind acquisition and development. In family parenting practices, Western parents talk more about mental-state terms, and tend to adopt authoritative parenting style. In contrast, Eastern parents refer more actions and its consequences in parent-child talking, and tend to adopt authoritarian parenting style. Mental-state talking can promote children’s attention and cognition to mental state of themselves and others, and thus directly facilitate theory of mind development of Western children. Action-consequence talking, which needs children to infer themselves or others’ mental state, could indirectly facilitate Eastern children’s mental-state understanding. Comparing with authoritarian parents, authoritative parents encourage their children more to question, discuss and argue, which offer more opportunities for Western children to be exposed to mental-state terms, thus promote theory of mind development of Western children. In contrast, authoritarian parenting style chosen by Eastern parents has negative effects on the development of their children’s mental understanding. As for pedagogical experience, Western schools adopt inquiry-teaching model, which characterized by encouraging students to express their views and cooperative learning that facilitated Eastern children’s mental understanding. On the contrary, eastern schools adopt traditional teaching model, which characterized by behavior control and unconditional rule-following that impede the theory of mind development of the Eastern children. Executive function of Oriental children is significantly better than that of the Western peers, but this advantage has not been transformed into the of the theory of mind development. We hypothesize that the combination of executive function and social experience about mental understanding together promote the development of theory of mind. In conclusion, we hold the opinion that “every road leads to Rome”, the Eastern and Western children’s theory of mind may have undergone different development paths. This article, based on the existing literature, presented a cultural model of children’s theory of mind development. Furthermore, some issues arising from this review that we hope will be addressed in future studies. Firstly, there are needs to explore the cross-cultural differences of theory of mind from the developmental perspective. Secondly, we should conduct cross-cultural study to explore the path and effect size of these influential factors of theory of mind. Thirdly, what the impact of cultural exchanges has on the development of children’s theory of mind is an issue that is worth studying. Fourthly, there are needs to explore the indirect effects of social changes on children’s ToM development.
|Keyword||心理理论 文化特异性 亲子交流 家庭教养方式 执行功能|
|Corresponding Author Affilication||Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences|
|侯晓晖,宫竹青,颜志雄,等. 儿童心理理论发生与发展:跨文化的视角[J]. 科学通报,2018:1-9.|
|MLA||侯晓晖,et al."儿童心理理论发生与发展:跨文化的视角".科学通报 (2018):1-9.|
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