Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

pp 1249-1249

False-Belief Task

  • Nirit Bauminger-ZvielyAffiliated withSchool of Education, Bar-Illan University Email author 

Definition

False-belief task is based on false-belief understanding which is the understanding that an individual’s belief or representation about the world may contrast with reality. False-belief task is a frequently used methodology to examine theory of mind (i.e., child’s ability to construct people in terms of internal mental states such as their beliefs, Wellman, 1993). It is considered as litmus test of theory of mind, in that in such cases, it becomes possible to distinguish unambiguously between the child’s (true) belief and the child’s awareness of someone else’s different (false) belief (Dennett, 1978). First-order false-belief tasks involve attribution about other’s false belief with regard to real events; whereas, second-order false-belief tasks are related with what people think about other people’s thoughts. In second-order false-belief tasks, the child is required to attribute the false belief of one person based on the thoughts of another (Perner & Wimmer, 1985

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