Early false-belief understanding in traditional non-Western societies

A new study in Proc. B looks at the ability of humans to detect false beliefs:

The psychological capacity to recognize that others may hold and act on false beliefs has been proposed to reflect an evolved, species-typical adaptation for social reasoning in humans; however, controversy surrounds the developmental timing and universality of this trait. […] Results were comparable with those from the West, supporting the hypothesis that false-belief understanding reflects an adaptation that is universally present early in development.

The results suggest that the ability to detect false believes develops at an early age, regardless of culture. Might or might not be comfort for those that have bemoaned our capacity to overrule this ability at a later life stage (see on this blog or elsewhere).


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