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Consciousness and control: The argument from developmental psychology

  • Philip David Zelazo (a1) and Douglas Frye (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 1999

Limitations of Dienes & Perner's (D&P's) theory are traced to the assumption that the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness is true. D&P claim that 18-month-old children are capable of explicitly representing factuality, from which it follows (on D&P's theory) that they are capable of explicitly representing content, attitude, and self. D&P then attempt to explain 3-year-olds' failures on tests of voluntary control such as the dimensional change card sort by suggesting that at this age children cannot represent content and attitude explicitly. We provide a better levels-of-consciousness account for age-related abulic dissociations between knowledge and action.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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