Talking About Others Facilitates Theory of Mind in Chinese Preschoolers

Huijing Lu, Yanjie Su, Qi Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


A longitudinal study and a training study were conducted to show that simply referring to others facilitated theory of mind (ToM) development in Chinese children. In Study 1, 3- to 4-year-old Chinese children (N = 52) were tested on ToM and autobiographical memory (AM). One year later, in the group of children who initially failed the false belief tasks, only those who increased their references to others in AM recall passed the tasks. In Study 2, Chinese preschoolers who were trained to talk about others through storytelling showed improvement in their ToM performance. These findings suggest alternative pathways for ToM development in non-Euro-American context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1726-1736
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • autobiographical memory
  • Chinese children
  • mental state talk
  • other-references
  • theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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