Friday, February 12, 2010

Theory of Mind

Taken from the book- "No, and why parents need to say it"

Some years ago, the Berkeley psychology professor Alison Gopnik and one of her students, Betty Repacholi, conducted an experiment with fourteen-month-old toddlers. Repacholi showed the babies two bowls of food, one filled with Gold¬fish crackers and one filled with raw broccoli. All the babies, naturally, preferred the crackers. Repacholi then tasted the two foods, saying "yuck" and making a disgusted face at one and saying "yum" and making a delighted face at the other. Then she pushed both bowls toward the babies, stretched out her hand, and said, "Could you give me some?"
When she liked the crackers, the babies gave her crack¬ers. No surprise there. But when Repacholi liked the broccoli and hated the crackers, the babies were presented with a diffi¬cult philosophical issue—that different people may have dif¬ferent, even conflicting, desires. The fourteen-month-olds couldn't grasp that. They thought that if they liked crackers everyone liked crackers, and so they gave Repacholi the crackers, despite her expressed preferences. Four months later, the babies had, by and large, figured this principle out, and when Repacholi made a face at the crackers they knew enough to give her the broccoli

This above study shows a very important example of when a children developmentally understands some foundations of Theory of mind.

For our children with Autism, many have not been able to seperate that others feel differently then they do and put that into practice when they are interacting. RDI (R) addresses this in their program as it guides the parents and child through the developmental stages beginning exactly where your child left off on his developmental track.

What has been your experience with your child and this very important developmental milestone?

No comments:

Post a Comment