British Journal of Developmental Psychology

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 13 Issue 4 (November 1995), Pages 321-432

Children's understanding of biased interpretation: Generality and limitations (pages 347-366)

Three experiments investigated children's understanding that an observer's opinion of another person may bias the observer's interpretation of that person's actions. In Expt 1, preschool, kindergarten, and second‐grade children were asked to infer a biased observer's belief about another person's behaviour. Children were asked either to judge what action the observer would believe the other person was committing or to judge whether the observer would believe the other person's action was intended or accidental. In both conditions, kindergarten and second‐grade children used information about the observer's like or dislike of the actor and the observer's knowledge about the event to infer the observer's perspective, but preschool children performed at chance. In Expts 2 and 3, kindergarten and second‐grade children were told stories in which an observer held both a positive and a negative bias concerning an actor, but only one of the biases was relevant to interpreting the actor's action. Children in both age groups used the relevant bias to infer the observer's interpretation of the action, but made errors when the observer in the story did not have access to information about the event that was provided to children hearing the story.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>