Children's attributions of beliefs to humans and God: cross-cultural evidence

Knight, Nicola and Sousa, Paulo and Barrett, Justin L. and Atran, Scott (2003) Children's attributions of beliefs to humans and God: cross-cultural evidence. [Preprint]

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The capacity to attribute beliefs to others in order to understand action is one of the mainstays of human cognition. Yet it is debatable whether children attribute beliefs in the same way to all agents. In this paper, we present the results of a false-belief task concerning humans and God run with a sample of Maya children aged 4 to 7, and place them in the context of several psychological theories of cognitive development. Children were found to attribute beliefs in different ways to humans and God. The evidence also speaks to the debate concerning the universality and uniformity of the development of folk-psychological reasoning.

Item Type:Preprint
Additional Information:Corresponding author: Nicola Knight, Departments of Psychology and Anthropology, University of Michigan;
Keywords:False-belief tasks, God, religion, theory of mind, Yukatek Maya
Subjects:Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Psychology > Comparative Psychology
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
ID Code:2363
Deposited By: Knight, Mr Nicola
Deposited On:04 Oct 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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To appear in Cognitive Science


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