Turkish speakers' conceptualization of belief-related words and its implications for theory of mind development
Haskaraca, Feride Nur
Item Usage Stats
This thesis is comprised of three studies. Study 1 & 2 investigate whether there are pragmatic nuances between belief-related mental state verbs (e.g., “to think, guess, and falsely think”) acknowledged by Turkish-speaking adults, and whether Turkish adults’ implicit processing of the belief-including situations such as false belief tasks are affected by the appropriate (vs. inappropriate) use of mental state verbs. Study 3 investigates whether Turkish-speaking preschooler’s performance in belief-related tasks of Theory of Mind (ToM) Battery [Diverse Belief (DB) and False Belief (FB) tasks, devised by Wellman & Liu, 2004] is affected by the verb used in these tasks. In Study 1, 150 Turkish-speaking adults completed an online survey asking for their judgments of appropriateness regarding the use of mental state words in belief tasks. In Study 2, 61 Turkish-speaking adults’ accuracy rates and reaction times in response to interchangeable use of mental state verbs (MSVs) in FB tasks were investigated. In Study 3, 60 Turkish-speaking children were tested on both the original ToM Battery and on the pragmatically modified versions of the DB and FB tasks. The DB and FB tasks were modified by either a) replacing the MSV used in the task (i.e., “think”) with a pragmatically and semantically more appropriate one (e.g., “guess” or “falsely think”); or, b) changing the epistemological circumstances of the task by adding an evidential basis for the belief so that the MSV used in the task (i.e., “think”) would be in line with the pragmatics of Turkish. Results revealed that Turkish-speaking children benefited from one modification that did not involve a manipulation of MSVs but the epistemological circumstances of the MSV (i.e., DB task presented with evidence).
KeywordsBbelief-related theory of mind tasks
Belief words and verbs
Pragmatics of Turkish language
Theory of mind