Synthese 191 (5):1-16 (2014)

Abstract
For decades, philosophers and psychologists have assumed that children understand other people’s behavior on the basis of Belief Reasoning (BR) at latest by age 5 when they pass the false belief task. Furthermore, children’s use of BR in the true belief task has been regarded as being ontogenetically prior. Recent findings from developmental studies challenge this view and indicate that 4- to 5-year-old children make use of a reasoning strategy, which is cognitively less demanding than BR and called perceptual access reasoning (PAR), in true belief tasks. I appeal to research on fluency to explain these findings. On my account, 4- to 5- year-old children understand other people’s behavior by means of BR if they experience cognitive strain (such as in false belief tasks) but they revert to simpler heuristics PAR when such an experience is missing (such as in true belief tasks)
Keywords Theory of mind  False belief task  True belief task  Belief reasoning  Perceptual access reasoning  Fluency
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-013-0301-5
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References found in this work BETA

The Secret Life of Fluency.Daniel M. Oppenheimer - 2008 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (6):237-241.

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Citations of this work BETA

Narratives, Culture, and Folk Psychology.Anika Fiebich - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (1):135-149.
Perceptual Access Reasoning: Developmental Stage or System 1 Heuristic?Joseph Hedger - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (2):207-226.

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