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Are “late-signing” deaf children “mindblind”? Understanding goal directedness in imitation

Want, S. C. and Gattis, Merideth Leigh ORCID: 2005. Are “late-signing” deaf children “mindblind”? Understanding goal directedness in imitation. Cognitive Development 20 (2) , pp. 159-172. 10.1016/j.cogdev.2004.12.003

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Recent studies with “late-signing” deaf children (deaf children born into families in which no-one uses a sign language) have indicated that they have difficulty performing tasks that require them to reason about other people's false beliefs. However, virtually no research has so far investigated how far late signers’ difficulties with mental state understanding extend. This paper reports one study that uses an imitation paradigm to examine whether late signers may also have difficulty in interpreting other people's actions in terms of their goals. Both late-signing (N = 15) and second generation “native-signing” deaf children (N = 19) produced a pattern of responses to this task that indicates that they can and readily do view the actions of others as goal-directed. We conclude that this form of mental state understanding (generally seen as a precursor to understanding false beliefs) is intact in late-signing deaf children.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Imitation; Goals; Deafness; Perception; Action
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0885-2014
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 09:28

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