Social dominance and theory of mind in early childhood

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Issue Date
2013-05
Authors
Dodge, Stephanie Renea
Advisor
Bohn-Gettler, Catherine M.
Citation
Abstract

This research examines whether or not there is a relationship between social dominance and theory of mind skills in three to five year old children. Twenty-seven three to five year old children were both rated and ranked by their lead teacher on social dominance. Each child was given the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, 4th Edition, to measure their receptive language skills, and then two common theory of mind false belief tasks. The first hypothesis, that there would be a positive correlation between social dominance and theory of mind skills was not supported. The second hypothesis, that there would be a positive relationship between theory of mind and language was only supported after outliers were removed. The third hypothesis, that when controlling for language, the relationship between social dominance and theory of mind would remain intact was not supported. The results of this study were surprising due to many similarities between social dominance and theory of mind as well as extensive research supporting a positive relationship between theory of mind and language. Some possible explanations for these results include a very small sample size of children participating as a whole and within each classroom, the age of the children, and possible effects of teacher experience.

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Description
Thesis (M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology
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