ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 65-76.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00065

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


赵丽华, 杨运梅, 李晶()   

  1. 中国科学院行为科学重点实验室, 中国科学院心理研究所, 北京 100101; 中国科学院大学心理学系, 北京 100049
  • 收稿日期:2021-03-05 出版日期:2022-01-15 发布日期:2021-11-25
  • 基金资助:

The relationship between children’s reading and theory of mind

ZHAO Lihua, YANG Yunmei, LI Jing()   

  1. CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-03-05 Online:2022-01-15 Published:2021-11-25


阅读与心理理论(theory of mind, ToM)在儿童发展过程中都发挥着重要的作用, 梳理文献发现两者可能存在双向促进作用。儿童通过与家长或老师的共享阅读, 启动联合注意, 使用心理状态术语进行对话, 进一步根据社会想象力, 模拟社会互动, 从而促进儿童心理理论发展。另一方面, 在阅读过程中, 心理理论能够助力儿童从宏观的阅读观的建立、元认知阅读策略的使用、故事情境模型的构建, 到微观具体的短语、句子、语篇和多文本的理解等能力的提高, 这些证据揭示了心理理论可以从多方面促进儿童阅读能力的发展。进一步的神经生理证据发现, 阅读和心理理论这两个过程的神经活动是有一定重叠的。由此推测, 两者可能具备潜在的双向促进关系。未来需要更深入和长期的纵向追踪研究为两者的关系提供丰富的实证证据。此外, 还应进行更多中国的低龄儿童的研究。随着科技的发展和线上课程的盛行, 也应更多关注多媒体内容阅读对儿童心理理论的影响。

关键词: 心理理论, 阅读, 亲子阅读, 图画书


Reading and theory of mind (ToM) both play important roles in the development of children. A large number of previous studies reveal that reading and ToM may have two-way promotion effects. On the one hand, shared reading with parents or teachers enables children to initiate joint attention. In this process, children and storytellers use a lot of terms of mental state to communicate with each other, and they can also construct an alternative social situation through social imagination and perspective-taking ability. In daily life, children will also understand stories by guessing and inferring the thoughts, intentions, desires and emotions of the characters through simulating real social activity, which promotes the development of children’s ToM. On the other hand, numerous studies have shown that ToM can also promote the development of children's reading ability in a lot of aspects. For example, in the process of reading, ToM can help children to improve their abilities to establish a macro view of reading, use metacognitive reading strategies, construct story situation models, and even promote their micro ability to understand specific phrases, sentences, discourses and multi-text materials. What's more, ToM may increase the reader's ability to express and monitor the characters' thoughts and emotions during the reading process. When readers can understand and express the mental states and emotions of the characters in the story, it indicates that they may have made some inferences and judgments about the mental states which are unclearly stated in the story. In this case, readers can understand the story more easily and are more likely to find the fun of reading, which may trigger more reading behaviors, thus leading to more frequent use of ToM and promote its development. Both reading and ToM show a good trend of mutual promotion and common development. In addition to behavioral research, further neurophysiological evidence shows that there is some overlap between the neural activity of reading and ToM. In the reading process, the default network shows strong activation. As the main support network for social cognition, default network also plays an important role in the development of ToM. In addition, the mirror nervous system contributes to the interaction between reading and ToM as well. The mirror nervous system enables individuals to understand or experience the actions, thoughts, intentions, and feelings of others. In addition, reading literary works, especially literary novels, can improve the individual's ToM by enhancing the mirror nervous system. Both behavioral and brain mechanism studies support that there may be a potential two-way promoting relationship between reading and ToM. In the future, it is necessary to pay more attention to the potential relationship between ToM and reading. Further in-depth and long-term longitudinal follow-up studies are needed to provide abundant empirical evidence for the relationship between reading and ToM. In addition, more attention should be paid to the development of ToM in school education and its positive influence on children's self-protection and compliance with moral norms. In line with the development of science and technology, it is also necessary to pay more attention to the influence of multimedia reading on children's ToM. Besides, in daily home reading or school teaching, parents and teachers should make efforts to increase intervention training to improve children's ToM and reading comprehension ability. For example, feedback training in reading is beneficial to promote children's perspective-taking and ToM, which includes emboldening children to talk deeply about their mental states and desires, asking children more questions, and encouraging children to play pretend games. All of these interventions may, to varying degrees, promote children to think about different views and mental states in various ways during reading process.

Key words: theory of mind, reading, parent-child book reading, picture book