This thesis furthers current research on the role of language in adult false-belief reasoning. Past behavioral and eye-tracking studies have yielded inconsistent evidence regarding adults' ability to successfully reason about false-belief tasks while performing different shadowing tasks at the same time. The current paper set out to examine the reason behind these discrepancies. A pilot study tested adults' ability to reason about true- and false-beliefs in videos with human actors without shadowing. Their performances were compared to a similar study conducted with animated videos. A second study looked at adults' performances on Unexpected Contents tasks with verbal shadowing and rhythmic tapping, and compared them to adults' performance on Unseen Displacement tasks with shadowing in an earlier research. One final study explored whether the inclusion of inference increased the difficulty of Unexpected Contents tasks (everything else in the two studies were identical). Our results revealed that adults have an easier time judging about beliefs in videos with human actors compared to animated videos, and that Unexpected Contents tasks are harder than Unseen Displacement tasks.
Lin, Yi, "Without language : adult false belief reasoning with verbal interference" (2009). Honors Project, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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