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Does executive function influence the development of theory of mind in elementary students?
Current Psychology
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2019
Source ID: shanti-sources-39031
Collection: Theory of Mind
Abstract: The majority of studies on the development of theory of mind (ToM) have focused on the preschool years. The current study examined the impact of conversation-based ToM training and whether a battery of executive function (EF) performance can predict the improvement in Chinese elementary students' ToM from training. A conversation-based training program was implemented for one month and evaluated with pre- and posttest measures of ToM. Ninety-six children were randomly assigned to intervention (nþinspace=þinspace49) and control groups (nþinspace=þinspace47). Findings indicate that the intervention group demonstrated significantly greater gains in ToM than the control group and that individual differences in a battery of EF performance can predict the improvement of ToM. These results are consistent with the beliefs that conversations about the mind foster improvements in theory of mind in school-aged children, and executive functioning skills can assist school-age children in constructing ToM by facilitating the ability to learn from relevant experience.