Inside the mind of a child
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Exploring those differences can help us understand how kids think and behave and can provide insights into how the mind and brain develop and change over time. Who is Good At This Game? Children in the category condition performed worse on the task regardless of whether the statement they heard referenced their own gender or the opposite gender. Andrei Cimpian— acimpian psych. Research has shown that infants start to demonstrate helpful behavior toward other people around their first birthdays. Yet little is known about what motivates infants to help others. Because the pupil dilation measurements, which have been shown to reflect emotional reactions to an event, were similar for infants who helped another person and infants who watched a person get helped by a third party, the researchers concluded that the children were motivated to help others because of genuine concern for the person in need.
The most important development in early childhood social cognition is the development of theory of mind. The basis of this crucial ability lies in the development of theory of mind. The development of theory of mind from birth to 5 years of age is now well described in the research literature 4,5 — or at least, we can describe how infants and children behave in experimental situations as well as in natural settings. There are problems, however, in interpretation of the findings. This contradiction can be resolved by taking a developmental view of theory of mind — that is, early-developing intuitive awareness later becomes more reflective and explicit.
The more eye contact a child makes, for example, the more play time he or she gets with those precious maps or stuffed animals. But now a group of scientists and the author of a new book are suggesting that those favorite activities could be harnessed in a deeper, more organic way. If a child is fascinated with animated characters like Thomas the Tank Engine, why not use those characters to prompt and reinforce social development? Millions of parents do this routinely, if not systematically, flopping down on the floor with a socially distant child to playact the characters themselves. He and several other researchers, including John D. Gabrieli of M. Watching those characters is the way many of us learned scripts that are appropriate in social situations.