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Labelling Improves False Belief Understanding. A Training Study

  • Elisabet Serrat Sellabona (a1), Carles Rostan Sánchez (a1), Eduard Vallès Majoral (a1), Moisès Esteban Guitart (a1), Francesc Sidera Caballero (a1) and Jèssica Serrano Ortiz (a1)...

A total of 104 children aged between 41 and 47 months were selected to study the relationship between language and false belief understanding. Participants were assigned to four different training conditions: discourse, labelling, control (all with deceptive objects), and sentential complements (involving non-deceptive objects). Post-test results showed an improvement in children’s false belief understanding in the discourse and the labelling conditions, but not in the sentential complements with non-deceptive objects or the control group. Furthermore, the most remarkable improvement in false belief understanding occurred in the labelling group. These results suggest that some types of linguistic experience promote the development of false belief understanding, provided that differing perspectives are confronted.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Elisabet Serrat Sellabona. Departamento de Psicología. Universidad de Girona. Pl. Sant Domènec, 9. 17071 Girona (Spain). Phone: +34–972418754. Fax: +34–972418315. E-mail:
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This research was partially supported by a grant from Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (SEJ2006–12039) and a grant from the Universidad de Girona (SING2010B/9). The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve the quality of the paper.
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The Spanish Journal of Psychology
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