Abstract: This study investigated the relationship between teachers’ mental state talk and young children’s theory of mind with a quasi-experiment. In total, 56 young children were assigned to the experiment group (meanage = 41 months, SD = 2.47, 46% girls) and the control group (meanage = 40.68 months, SD = 2.23, 43% girls). The experiment group was engaged in a 12-week intervention program with mental state talk in storytelling, casual conversations, and role-playing games, whereas the control group received no interventions. All the children were tested with three theory of mind (ToM) tasks before and after the intervention. The results indicated that the experimental group had a signifificant improvement in the ToM scores, whereas the control group showed no signifificant change. The educational implications of these fifindings are discussed.
Keywords: theory of mind, mental state talk, teacher-child interaction, young children, quasi-experiment
Published journal: Frontiers in Psychology (SSCI) First Published 26 March 2021