Together I Can! Joint Attention Boosts 3- to 4-Year-Olds' Performance in a Verbal False-Belief Test

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Effects of joint attention were addressed on 3- to 4-year-olds' performance in a verbal false-Belief Test (FBT), featuring the experimenter as co-watcher rather than narrator. In two experiments, children (N = 183) watched a filmed-FBT jointly with a test leader, disjointed from a test leader, or alone. Children attending jointly with a test leader were more likely to pass the FBT compared with normative data and to spontaneously recall information indicating false-belief understanding, suggesting that joint attention strengthens the plausibility of the FBT and renders plot-critical information more salient. In a third experiment (N = 59), results were replicated using a typical, image-based FBT. Overall findings highlight the profound impact of experimenter as social context in verbal FBTs, and link recall of specific story features to false-belief understanding.


External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
JournalChild Development
Issue number1
Early online date2018 Jan 1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan
Publication categoryResearch

Related projects

Elia Psouni, Andreas Falck, Lisa Sidén, Maria Wallin, Leni Boström & Martin Persson


Project: Research

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