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Procedural Metacognition and False Belief Understanding in 3- to 5-Year-Old Children

Published inPLOS ONE, vol. 10, no. 10, e0141321
Publication date2015
Abstract

Some studies, so far limited in number, suggest the existence of procedural metacognition in young children, that is, the practical capacity to monitor and control one's own cognitive activity in a given task. The link between procedural metacognition and false belief understanding is currently under theoretical discussion. If data with primates seem to indicate that procedural metacognition and false belief understanding are not related, no study in developmental psychology has investigated this relation in young children. The present paper aims, first, to supplement the findings concerning young children's abilities to monitor and control their uncertainty (procedural metacognition) and, second, to explore the relation between procedural metacognition and false belief understanding. To examine this, 82 3- to 5-year-old children were presented with an opt-out task and with 3 false belief tasks. Results show that children can rely on procedural metacognition to evaluate their perceptual access to information, and that success in false belief tasks does not seem related to success in the task we used to evaluate procedural metacognition. These results are coherent with a procedural view of metacognition, and are discussed in the light of recent data from primatology and developmental psychology.

Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
BERNARD, Stéphane, PROUST, Joëlle, CLEMENT, Fabrice. Procedural Metacognition and False Belief Understanding in 3- to 5-Year-Old Children. In: PLOS ONE, 2015, vol. 10, n° 10, p. e0141321. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141321
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ISSN of the journal1932-6203
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