Week 17: The Self & Others Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Week 17: The Self & Others Deck (27):

The rouge test

A mirror is placed infront of a human/baby/monkey and a red dot is painted on the face. The test is for self recognition. Babies between 15-24 months of age pass the rouge test - recognize themselves.


The rouge test is passed by human and non human animals such as:

Gorillas, orange tangs, gibbons, elephants, dolphins, some species of birds



The ideas, feelings, knowledge about one self- how we describe ourselves. Forms in children around age 8


Autobiographical memory

The memories about important past events that create a person's life story "autobiography". Helps to shape our self-concept.


Social comparisons

Evaluating one's abilities by comparing oneself to others and think about the differences. Start to think about how others perceive us.


Imaginary audience

In adolescence, some can experience a constant feeling of being watched more carefully and being evaluated by others more than it is actually occurring. It intensifies insecurities and can contribute to forming the self-concept.


Culture differences in perceiving the self

In western countries the INDIVIDUAL is the main focus. In other countries the GROUP or COMMUNITY or CULTURE is the focus.

Think: the "I am...." responses "I am Muslim" vs "I am smart"


Cultural parenting styles can affect what?

- the age that the rouge test is passed at
- the emotional stress of acting differently in different contexts is greater in individualistic cultures and less in collective cultures


Theory of Mind (ToM)

The ability to reason about what other people might know or believe and how that will influence their actions. We don't know for sure so it's a "theory."

Able to understand visual, philosophical and experiential perspectives among people to understand motives goals and desires.


When does theory of mind develop?

Children aged 4


How to test for theory of mind

False belief tasks are used to test if children possess theory of mind (container test, displacement test).

Habituation tests are used to determine if infants are capable of understanding the goals of others.


Container test

A box of smarties is shown to a 3 year old.
Asked what is inside.
3 year old answers smarties
Show the box contains pencils
Asked what that person over there thinks is inside
3 year old fails answers pencils instead of smarties
4 year old typically answers correctly


Displacement test

Explores how children reason a change in location from 2 different perspectives.

Watches a scene where a puppet places an object into cupboard and leaves the stage.

A different puppet comes in and moves object under the bed.

Original puppet comes back. Where will they look for the object.

3 year old fails- answers bed.
4 year old typically answers correctly.


Habituation test

Determines if infants can understand goals of others.

Trial 1: two objects. Hand reaches to 1 of 2 objects many times until child is habituated (loses interest and looks away).

In the next trial the objects are switched.

If child has habituated to the goal then it will expect to see the hand reach to the original object at the new location.

If the child has habituated to the location of reach then it will expect to see the hand reach to the same location for the new object.

It has been shown that 6 month old infants look longer at the hand when it reaches for the new object at the same location = habituated to the original object = understand the concept of goals*

* only in animate objects (not the same with a stick)


Consistent lying

Children aged 3-7 years lie consistently as a precursor to cognitive development and grasping understanding of belief/false belief problems.


Executive functioning is needed for development of ToM

Executive functioning consists of controlling impulses, plan complex actions, foresee consequences and use working memory.



Inability to switch strategies based on new information. The "old way" is preserved even when new situations call for change. Frontal lobe damaged persons and young children show this.

Test for preservation: sort cards by colour for a few rounds then ask to sort by shape. 3 year olds will have trouble adjusting to the new rule. 4 year olds change their strategy.


What part of the brain is responsible for executive functioning?

Prefrontal cortex in the frontal lobe


Do executive functioning and ToM develop together?

No. Studies comparing Chinese culture and western culture reveal that cultural parenting styles encourage executive functioning to develop earlier in china but ToM develops at the same time for both cultures showing that they develop independently of each other.


Do siblings affect ToM development?

Yes. A 3 year old with two older siblings will behave like a 4 year old when presented with a false belief task. Theory of Mind development depends on your environment and a rich social environment helps to facilitate development of ToM.



Autism Spectrum Disorders

Theory that ASD is what happens when you lack ToM. People with Autism do poorly on false belief tasks.


When studying theory of mind it is important to consider

- Network of brain regions
- multiple genetic influences
- social environment

And the interactions between these.



Increasing someone else's welfare without any benefit or conscious regard to your own self interests.


Pro social behaviour

Positive, constructive, helpful behaviour


Antisocial behaviour






Order of development

Intersubjectiviety > executive functioning > theory of mind > moral development