The authors take an integrated view of the development of children s social understanding, bringing out the connections between mental state understanding and their understanding of language, social skills, morality and emotions. A focus on language is central to their approach, since they propose that language both reflects understanding and facilitates its further development.
At the same time, the authors situate their own arguments and interpretations in a historical and theoretical context, discussing them not only in relation to current research and theory on the development of children′s social understanding, but also in relation to more general theories of development by Piaget and Vygotsky and, for example, the philosophical work of Wittgenstein.
1. Social Understanding and Social Interaction: An introduction to the issues.
2. Contemporary Theories of Social Understanding.
3. Understanding False Beliefs.
4. The Development of Social Understanding in Infancy.
5. Domain General Approaches to Reasoning about the Mind.
6. Social Interaction and the Development of Social Understanding: The role of relationships in social cognitive development.
7. Language and Social Understanding.
8. Beyond (False) Belief: What do preschoolers still have to learn about the mind?.
9. Social Understanding and Children′s Social Lives.
10. Constructing an Understanding of Mind.