You are here

Development of inhibition as a function of the presence of an intentional agent

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2009
Summary:
This thesis examined the developmental differences in inhibition and theory-of-mind of 4-8 year olds as a function of the suggested presence of a supernatural agent. All children played four games designed to assess their current level of inhibition and theory-of-mind performance; Children in the experimental condition, only, were also introduced to an invisible Princess Alice and were told that she was watching during the games. Following these measures, all children engaged in a resistance-to-temptation task to determine any differences in inhibition resulting from Princess Alice's suggested presence. I found that children exhibiting a well-developed theory-of-mind were more likely to express belief in Princess Alice than were children lacking this cognitive ability. This research provided support that cognitive maturity, rather than immaturity, may be necessary for children to express belief in novel supernatural agents, and highlighted the importance of context as a mediating factor in children's behavioral inhibition.
Title: Development of inhibition as a function of the presence of an intentional agent.
32 views
3 downloads
Name(s): King, Ashley.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Psychology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: viii, 57 p. : ill.
Language(s): English
Summary: This thesis examined the developmental differences in inhibition and theory-of-mind of 4-8 year olds as a function of the suggested presence of a supernatural agent. All children played four games designed to assess their current level of inhibition and theory-of-mind performance; Children in the experimental condition, only, were also introduced to an invisible Princess Alice and were told that she was watching during the games. Following these measures, all children engaged in a resistance-to-temptation task to determine any differences in inhibition resulting from Princess Alice's suggested presence. I found that children exhibiting a well-developed theory-of-mind were more likely to express belief in Princess Alice than were children lacking this cognitive ability. This research provided support that cognitive maturity, rather than immaturity, may be necessary for children to express belief in novel supernatural agents, and highlighted the importance of context as a mediating factor in children's behavioral inhibition.
Identifier: 435767585 (oclc), 227977 (digitool), FADT227977 (IID), fau:3460 (fedora)
Note(s): by Ashley King.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2009.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2009. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Child psychopathology -- Physiological aspects
Cognition in children
Philosophy of mind in children
Inhibition
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/227977
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU