Cognitive basis of mindreading in middle childhood and adolescence

Ian A. Apperly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A full account of the development of mindreading must explain how children move beyond the achievements of early childhood to develop the mature abilities of adults. We are rapidly learning more about mindreading in adults, and the present chapter takes the model of adult mindreading as a guide for thinking about the cognitive basis of mindreading in middle childhood and adolescence. This approach leads to three main considerations. Firstly, increasing capacity for memory and executive control is likely to enable children and adolescents to engage in more effortful mindreading. Secondly, increasing practice is likely to lead to improved efficiency and automatization of some (but by no means all) mindreading. Thirdly, increasing social experience is likely to improve the ability to use mindreading flexibly and appropriately.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheory of Mind in Middle Childhood and Adolescence
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating Multiple Perspectives
EditorsRory T. Devine, Serena Lecce
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780429326899
ISBN (Print)9780367346171, 9780367346188
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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