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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Belief and Counterfactuality: A teleological theory of belief attribution (Forthcoming)
Authors: Rafetseder, Eva
Perner, Josef
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Keywords: Counterfactual Reasoning
Basic Conditional Reasoning
False Belief
Citation: Rafetseder E & Perner J (2017) Belief and Counterfactuality: A teleological theory of belief attribution (Forthcoming), Zeitschrift fur Psychologie.
Abstract: The development and relation of counterfactual reasoning and false belief understanding were examined in 3- to 7-year-old children ( N=75) and adult controls (N=14). The key question was whether false belief understanding engages counterfactual reasoning to infer what somebody else falsely believes. Findings revealed a strong correlation between false belief and counterfactual questions even in conditions in which children could commit errors other than the reality bias (rp=.51). The data suggest that mastery of belief attribution and counterfactual reasoning is not limited to one point in development but rather develops over a longer period. Moreover, the rare occurrence of reality errors calls into question whether young children's errors in the classic false belief task are indeed the result of a failure to inhibit what they know to be actually the case. The data speak in favour of a teleological theory of belief attribution and challenges established theories of belief attribution.
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Accepted for publication in Zeitschrift für Psychologie. This version of the article may not completely replicate the final version published in Zeitschrift für Psychologie. It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation.

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