The belief-based emotion of surprise: the case for a lag in understanding relative to false belief

Ruffman, Ted and Keenan, Thomas R (1996) The belief-based emotion of surprise: the case for a lag in understanding relative to false belief. Developmental Psychology, 32 (1). pp. 40-49. ISSN 0012-1649

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Abstract

Three experiments were carried out to determine whether there is a lag in predicting surprise relative to false belief. All 3 experiments used "backwards reasoning" tasks. The findings were that ( a ) there is a lag in predicting surprise relative to false belief, ( b ) by 5 or 6 years of age children claim that one will be surprised when they gain knowledge of that which they were previously ignorant or when they discover that they had previously held a false belief, ( c ) by 7 to 9 years of age they understand that surprise will more likely result from false beliefs rather than mere ignorance, and ( d ) children's difficulty understanding surprise as specifically belief-based does not likely stem from information processing limitations. It is argued that the lag likely results because children must build a new concept of surprise (e.g., from desire- to belief-based).

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:44
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2012 11:32
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14171
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