Perspective-taking skills in young children: Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses

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Classic and modified perspective-taking tasks were given to 100 children evenly divided into groups of 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-yr-olds. In the classic task, Ss were asked to select pictures showing how block arrays looked to them and to an experimenter (E) seated opposite them. The youngest Ss responded indiscriminately across problems, generally even failing questions about their own view. Performance was also examined as a function of array variables such as the symmetry of the arrangement and the number and visibility of blocks. Results suggest that children's difficulty in identifying another's right-left is not attributable simply to difficulty in identifying their own and that intellectual realism may affect children's performance on perspective-taking tasks. In the modified task, the S and/or the E wore colored glasses and the S was asked to describe how a white card appeared to each of them. Egocentric responses were common only in the 3-yr-old group. It is concluded that even very young children are aware that they and others may see things differently but do not demonstrate this awareness on spatially and representationally complex tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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