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Josef Perner on Theory of Mind - Dictionary of Arguments

Slater I 156
Theory of Mind/ToM/Perner: VsPerner: The whole point of Wimmer and Perner’s (1983)(1) study was to design a task that could not be mastered by mere behavior reading: only by representing the character’s belief was it possible to adequately predict her behavior.
VsPerner: Problem: the (…) premise, that it is not warranted to infer the ability to represent mental states from success at the false belief task, is (…) questionable.
As a matter of fact, if a typically developing child passes the standard false-belief task, the immediate inference is that she has the underlying ability to represent mental states. Similarly, if a chimpanzee were ever to pass a task structurally similar to the standard FBT (false-belief task), the scientific community would take this as the first solid evidence of ToM (Theory of Mind) in non-human animals. The interpretation of FBT passes in ASD has been radically different in the mindblindness framework. >Autism/psychological theories, >False-Belief Task/psychological theories, >Theory of Mind/developmental psychology.
It seems that when an individual with ASD passes a ToM test, they are never credited with a fully fledged representational ToM. (Rajendran and Mitchell 2007)(2).

1. Wimmer, H., & Perner, J. (1983). Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children’s understanding of deception. Cognition. 13, 103—128.
2. Rajendran, G., & Mitchell, P. (2007). Cognitive Theories of Autism. Developmental Review, 27, 224-260.

Coralie Chevallier, “Theory of Mind and Autism. Beyond Baron-Cohen et al’s. Sally-Anne Study”, in: Alan M. Slater and Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Perner, Josef
Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012

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