To investigate the relation between cognitive and affective social understanding, Japanese 4- to 8-year-olds received tasks of first- and second-order false beliefs and prosocial and self-presentational display rules. From 6 to 8 years, children comprehended display rules, as well as second-order false belief, using social pressures justifications decreasingly and motivational justifications with embedded perspectives increasingly with age. Although not related to either type of display across ages, second-order tasks were associated with both types of display tasks only at 8 years when examined in each age group. Results suggest that children base their second-order theory of mind and display rules understanding on distinct reasoning until middle childhood, during which time the originally distinct aspects of social understanding are integrated.
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