You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Exploration of the Autistic Child's Theory of Mind: Knowledge, Belief, and Communication
Josef Perner, Uta Frith, Alan M. Leslie and Susan R. Leekam
Vol. 60, No. 3 (Jun., 1989), pp. 689-700
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130734
Page Count: 12
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Children, Child psychology, Child development, Mind, Autistic disorder, Saliency, Child psychiatry, Adopted children, Communication theory, Epistemology
Were these topics helpful?See somethings inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
26 autistic children with mental ages of 3-13 years were tested on 3 tasks that are within the capability of 3- or 4-year-old normal children. The first task tested understanding of a mistaken belief. Children were shown a typical box of a certain brand of sweets, and they all thought that it contained that kind of sweet. To their surprise, however, the box contained something else. Yet, only 4 out of the 26 autistic children were able to anticipate that another child in the same situation would make the same mistake. In contrast, all but 1 of 12 children with specific language impairment, matched for mental age, understood that others would be as misled as they had been themselves. The autistic children were also tested for their ability to infer knowledge about the content of a container from having or not having looked inside. All 4 children who had passed the belief task and an additional 4 performed perfectly, but most failed. The third task assessed children's pragmatic ability to adjust their answers to provide new rather than repeat old information. Here, too, most autistic children seemed unable to reliably make the correct adjustment. These results confirm the hypothesis that autistic children have profound difficulty in taking account of mental states.
Child Development © 1989 Society for Research in Child Development