- Sarah Ogen
Directions: Read the article and then respond to the questions below. Make sure that you provide explanations for your responses.
Article: Eighteen-month-old infants show false belief understanding in an active helping paradigm
All information was gathered from the following source:
Buttulmann, D., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2009). Eighteen-month-old infants show false belief understanding in an active helping paradigm. Cognition, (112), 337-342.
- What is the aim/purpose of the study? (2 points)
Buttulmann, Carpenter, and Tomasello sought to figure out at what age, after one year, a child can successfully understand false belief; this needed to be confirmed by a measureable behavior exhibited by the child. There was a lot of debate about at what age this belief came about in children. By past researchers, it was believed this thought process was exhibited anywhere from 3-5 years of age, depending on the demands of the task. Clements and Perner (1994) found this thought process could be attained around age 2 using the lowest amount of added cognitive demand in the tasks. Other researchers found that false belief understanding could be understood by children 13-15 months of age using a violation-expectation paradigm. Both of these studies were thought to have holes in them where the child could have interpreted other things that led to the same results.
Buttulmann et al. studied understanding of false belief using an active behavioral measure. They wanted to know if the one year olds tested would respond in a manner showing their understanding of false belief. If the children did, Buttulmann et al would have found the youngest age at which a child has an understanding of false belief.
- How did the investigators measure the topic of interest? (2 points)
Two studded caterpillar toys and two boxes were used in this study. One box was yellow and the other was pink. Each box had a handle and a hinge where the box could be locked. The child sat in front of both of the boxes, while a female researcher sat next to the child and a male researcher sat across from the child between the boxes. The male researcher left the room to get another toy, while the female researcher taught the child how the boxes locked with a pin. The male researcher returned with a toy and showed it to the child. The male researcher then put the toy caterpillar in the second box.
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!Essay Writing Service
In the false belief condition, the male researcher again left the room. The female researcher told the child the male researcher could not see or hear them, and asked the child to play a trick on the male researcher. The female researcher took the caterpillar and moved it to the other box while acting sneaky and giggling. Before the male researcher returned, the female researcher and child returned to their places.
In the true belief condition, the male researcher remained in the room. The female researcher told the child to join her in moving the caterpillar from one box to the other, this time without acting sneaky. The male researcher got up at the end to close the door so he was in the same spot as the false belief condition.
In both the false and true belief conditions, the male researcher resumed his place between the two boxes. He pulled on the handle of the box he originally put the caterpillar in, but did not open either box. The child was invited to help the male researcher. It was recorded which box the child opened.
The procedure remained the same as the first study. Parental encouragement was used if the child did not help the male researcher find the caterpillar.
- Who were the children in the study, how old were they and how were they recruited? (1 point)
There were 24 children used in the study. They were 2.5 years of age. There were 12 girls and 12 boys. Half were put in the false belief group, and the others were put in the true belief group. These groups were randomly assigned. Seven other children were not included in the results due to complications, experimenter error, and fussiness (Buttulmann et al.)
There were 100 children. Fifty were 18 months old and fifty were 16 months old. In each age group there were 24 girls and 26 boys. Other children were also tested but not included in the results due to parental or experimenter error, fussiness, or tried to take the caterpillar out of the box.
Additional children were used in the study but only helped when their parents encouraged them to help the male researcher. This included ten 18 month olds and twenty two 16 month olds. These children’s results were analyzed separately. Another eighteen 18 month olds and twenty six 16 month olds did not aid the male researcher at all in finding the caterpillar and were their results were not used for analysis.
- What was the design of the study (e.g., correlational, experimental, cross-sectional, longitudinal)? (1 point)
The design of the study was a cross sectional. It tested different children on the same task at different ages.
- What were the results and conclusions? (2 points)
All children successfully opened one of the boxes. In the true belief condition, 75% of the children opened the box the male researcher had tried to open initially. In the false belief condition, 83.3% of the children opened the other box where the caterpillar now was located. The children also communicated to the male researcher where the caterpillar now was located. When the male researcher tried to open the box initially in the false belief condition, 7 children told him that the caterpillar had been moved. In the true belief condition, one child tried to inform the male researcher that the caterpillar had been moved. The children in this study showed a false belief understanding.
All 18 month old children successfully chose a box. In the true belief condition, 84% of children tried to open the box the male researcher had just tried to open. In the false belief box, 72% of children tried to open the other box where the caterpillar was actually enclosed. There were similar results with the children that needed assistance from their parents to help the male researcher.
Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.View our services
All 16 month old children successfully chose a box. In the true belief condition, 56% of children tried to open the box the male researcher had just tried to open. Results showed that this may be due to chance. In the false belief box, 80% of children tried to open the other box where the caterpillar was actually enclosed. There were similar results with the children that needed assistance from their parents to help the male researcher. These results showed that 18 and 16 month old children understand false beliefs of other people.
- Do you agree with the conclusions? Explain why or why not and indicate any problems in the design or methods that could affect the results and conclusions. (2 points)
I agree with the conclusions. The behaviors exhibited by the children in both studies, and in each age group, show that the children understand false beliefs of others. For 16 month olds, these results could have been due to chance because they may not have understood the task fully. The behavior of the child could also be misinterpreted and therefore skew results. The child may also not understand the task at such a young age, and simply choose a box based on color, rather than where the toy is hidden. To fix this, the boxes may be the same color instead of different.
Cite This Work
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
Related ServicesView all
DMCA / Removal Request
If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: