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Some problems with a behavioristic account of early group pretense

Devitt, Susannah K. (2006) Some problems with a behavioristic account of early group pretense. In Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Erlbaum Associates, Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Vancouver.

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Abstract

In normal child development, both individual and group pretense first emerges at approximately two years of age. The metarepresentational account of pretense holds that children already have the concept PRETEND when they first engage in early group pretense. A behavioristic account suggests that early group pretense is analogous to early beliefs or desires and thus require no mental state concepts. I argue that a behavioral account does not explain the actual behavior observed in children and it cannot explain how children come to understand that a specific action is one of pretense versus one of belief. I conclude that a mentalistic explanation of pretense best explains the behavior under consideration.

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ID Code: 38129
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: pretense, theory of mind
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300) > Philosophy of Cognition (220312)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Susannah Kate Devitt
Deposited On: 25 Oct 2010 08:27
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2010 00:44

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