ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 431-442.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00431

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Do infants have an understanding of false belief?

HUANG Qiyu; LIU Xiuli   

  1. (School of Psychology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China)
  • Received:2016-01-04 Online:2017-03-15 Published:2017-03-15
  • Contact: LIU Xiuli, E-mail:


In the last decade, accumulating studies on infant false-belief understanding have found that infants’ positive performance on a variety of spontaneous-response tasks demonstrates a certain degree of flexibility. Given this result, some researchers persist with the rich interpretation which claims that infants can attribute false beliefs to others, while some insist on the lean interpretation assuming that infants’ success on the tasks can be explained by other abilities such as the use of behavior rules. There are also researchers who recently come to offer a compromising interpretation in the new conceptual framework. To finally solve the question on whether infants have an understanding of false belief or not, a specific standard on the acquisition of false-belief understanding is needed.

Key words: infancy, theory of mind, false belief, spontaneous-response tasks, elicited-response tasks