Spatial ability and theory of mind: A mediating role of visual perspective taking

Mi TIAN, Tianrui LUO, Jinxia DING, Xin WANG, Him CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

This research tests the role of visual perspective taking (VPT) in mediating the relation between spatial ability and theory of mind (ToM). Study 1 demonstrated such mediation correlationally in seventy 3.5‐ to 4‐year olds. In Study 2, twenty‐three 3.5‐ to 4‐year‐olds were trained on using play blocks to copy preassembled models as a way to promote spatial ability. Resultant increases in VPT and ToM were compared to those from a control group learning to draw instead (n = 23). Both studies showed that the effect of spatial ability on ToM depended on VPT, suggesting a role of embodiment in ToM development in early childhood. These findings provide an alternative way to think about ToM development and the psychological mechanism that may be involved. Copyright © 2021 Society for Research in Child Development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Development
Early online date28 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2021

Citation

Tian, M., Luo, T., Ding, J., Wang, X., & Cheung, H. (2021). Spatial ability and theory of mind: A mediating role of visual perspective taking. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13546

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