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Table of Contents
Vol. 36, No. 6, 1993
Issue release date: 1993
Human Development 1993;36:350–362

The Problem of the Other in Research on Theory of Mind and Social Development

Raver C.C. · Leadbeater B.J.
Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA

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Comparison of research on theory of mind and research on social development yields divergent conclusions regarding young children’s awareness of the nature of the internal states of others. This divergence partially reflects methodological differences between the two paradigms, but also more fundamental differences in researchers’ framing of the problem of understanding others’ mental states as either an intrapsychic or an interpersonal process, carried out by either a single or a social mind, through mental or communicative activities. It is argued that children’s understandings of how the inner experiences of real others can predict their actions or how these inner experiences can be acted on are distinct from children’s conceptions of’mind’ in the abstract.

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