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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Developmental psychology
Title Culture and the sequence of steps in theory of mind development.
Author(s)
Volume 47
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 1239-1247
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Virginia_Slaughter/publication/51189951_Culture_and_the_Sequenc​e_of_Steps_in_Theory_of_Mind_Development/links/0fcfd50a5c9d65e29f000000.pdf
Abstract
To examine cultural contrasts in the ordered sequence of conceptual developments leading to theory of
mind (ToM), we compared 135 3- to 6-year-olds (77 Australians; 58 Iranians) on an established 5-step
ToM scale (Wellman & Liu, 2004). There was a cross-cultural difference in the sequencing of ToM steps
but not in overall rates of ToM mastery. In line with our predictions, the children from Iran conformed
to a distinctive sequence previously observed only in children in China. In contrast to the case with
children from Australia (and the United States), knowledge access was understood earlier than opinion
diversity in children from Iran, consistent with this collectivist culture’s emphasis on filial respect,
dispute avoidance, and acquiring knowledge. Having a sibling was linked with faster overall ToM
progress in Australia only and was not related to scale sequences in either culture.

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