Training children's theory-of-mind: A meta-analysis of controlled studies.
Hofmann, Stefan G.
Doan, Stacey N.
Andrews, Leigh A.
Harris, Paul L.
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CitationStefan G Hofmann, Stacey N Doan, Manuel Sprung, Anne Wilson, Chad Ebesutani, Leigh A Andrews, Joshua Curtiss, Paul L Harris. 2016. "Training children's theory-of-mind: A meta-analysis of controlled studies.." Cognition, Volume 150, pp. 200 - 212.
BACKGROUND: Theory-of-mind (ToM) refers to knowledge and awareness of mental states in oneself and others. Various training programs have been developed to improve ToM in children. OBJECTIVES: In the present study, we conducted a quantitative review of ToM training programs that have been tested in controlled studies. DATA SOURCES: A literature search was conducted using PubMed, PsycInfo, the Cochrane Library, and manual searches. REVIEW METHODS: We identified 32 papers with 45 studies or experiments that included 1529 children with an average age of 63 months (SD=28.7). RESULTS: ToM training procedures were more effective than control procedures and their aggregate effect size was moderately strong (Hedges' g=0.75, CI=0.60-0.89, p<.001). Moderator analyses revealed that although ToM training programs were generally effective, ToM skill-related outcomes increased with length of training sessions and were significantly higher in active control studies. CONCLUSION: ToM training procedures can effectively enhance ToM in children.