JAPANESE CHILDREN'S DEVELOPMENT OF FALSE BELIEF UNDERSTANDING1,2

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Abstract

Two studies were conducted to examine the Japanese children's false belief understanding. Study 1, a small-scale meta-analysis that included 21 Japanese false belief studies yielding 60 data points, revealed that the Japanese children's false belief understanding develops with age (effect size = 2.48 in odds ratio for 1 year), the Japanese children's performance exceeds the chance level at the age of 64 months, and question type (think vs look-for) produced no statistically significant difference. An experiment (Study 2) employing a change-of-locations task was conducted to confirm these findings, manipulating question type as a within-participant factor. Participants were 43 Japanese kindergartners (24 boys and 19 girls; 3 yr. 4 mo. to 6 yr. 1 mo.). The results showed that Japanese children's false belief performance developed with age. Their performance level exceeded the chance level at the age of 5 years, and question type did not affect their performance.

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