Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Nonspecificity and theory of mind: New evidence from a nonverbal false-sign task and children with autism spectrum disorders

Iao, Lai-Sang and Leekam, Susan R. ORCID: 2014. Nonspecificity and theory of mind: New evidence from a nonverbal false-sign task and children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 122 , pp. 1-20. 10.1016/j.jecp.2013.11.017

[thumbnail of iao_leekam_2014._non-specificity_and_theory_of_mind-_new_evidence_from_a_non-verbal_false_sign_task_and_children_with_autism_spectrum_disorders.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (628kB) | Preview


Understanding of false belief has long been considered to be a crucial aspect of “theory of mind” that can be explained by a domain-specific mechanism. We argue against this claim using new evidence from a nonverbal false representation task (false-sign task) with typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Experiments 1 and 2 showed that typically developing children (mean age = 62.67 months) were equivalent in their performance across nonverbal and verbal forms of both the false-belief and false-sign tasks. Results for these two misrepresentation tasks differed from the results of an outdated representation task (“false”-photograph task). Experiment 3 showed that children with ASD had difficulties with the false representation tasks, and this could not be explained by executive functioning or language impairments. These findings support the view that children with ASD might not have a specific theory-of-mind deficit.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Representational understanding; Theory of mind; False sign; Language; Executive function; Autism spectrum disorders
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 11/03/2014).
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0022-0965
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 12:57

Citation Data

Cited 16 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics