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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The development of young children’s understanding of knowledge in others Boyes, Michael Clifford


This study examined a model of children's role-taking competencies which sought to predict children's role-taking performances by taking into account both children's beliefs about the nature of knowledge (i.e., copy- theoretic or quasi-constructivistic) and the types of knowledge held by other people in the role-taking situation (i.e., physicalistic, logico-mathematical, or fully relativised). Eighty-four 3- to 7-year-old children were first screened to determine which of the potential beliefs about the nature of knowledge they held and then presented with a series of tasks representative of each of the theoretically identified types of knowledge in others. The expectation that only those children who held developmentally more mature beliefs about the nature of knowledge (i.e., quasi-constructivistic) would be capable of understanding the more complex types of knowledge possessed by others was strongly confirmed in the present study. The results of this study were seen to suggest that the proposed model could more adequately account for the development of role-taking skills in young children than previously presented typologies.

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