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Affiliated institutions: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Edinburgh

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Category: Methods and Measures

Description: Theory of mind (ToM) reasoning refers to the process by which we reason about the mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) of others. Here, we describe an open dataset of responses from children who completed a story booklet task for assessing ToM reasoning (n=321 3–12-year-old children, including 64 (neurotypical) children assessed longitudinally and 68 autistic children). Children completed one of two versions of the story booklet task (Booklet 1 or 2). Both versions include two-alternative forced choice and free response questions that tap ToM concepts ranging in difficulty from reasoning about desires and beliefs to reasoning about moral blameworthiness and mistaken referents. Booklet 2 additionally includes items that assess understanding of sarcasm, lies, and second order belief-desire reasoning. Compared to other ToM tasks, the booklet task provides relatively dense sampling of ToM reasoning within each child (Booklet 1: 41 items; Booklet 2: 70 items). Experimental sessions were video recorded and data were coded offline; the open dataset consists of children’s accuracy (binary) on each item and, for many children (n=171), transcriptions of free responses. The dataset also includes children’s scores on standardized tests of receptive language and non-verbal IQ, as well as other demographic information. As such, this dataset is a valuable resource for investigating the development of ToM reasoning in early and middle childhood. Please, if you use the ToM booklet task/data in a paper, include a link to this OSF page and cite the following preprint: Sotomayor-Enriquez, K., Gweon, H., Saxe, R., & Richardson, H. (2023, August 28). Open dataset of theory of mind reasoning in early to middle childhood. Retrieved from Preprint DOI: 10.31234/ Papers that used the ToM booklet task that were published prior to the task & dataset paper cited above are: (1) Gweon, H., Dodell‐Feder, D., Bedny, M., Saxe, R. (2012). Theory of mind performance in children correlates with functional specialization of a brain region for thinking about thoughts. Child development, 83(6), 1853-1868. (Booklet 1) (2) Richardson, H., Lisandrelli, G., Riobueno-Naylor, A., & Saxe, R. (2018). Development of the social brain from age three to twelve years. Nature communications, 9(1), 1027. (Booklet 1 & 2, matched items; (3) Richardson, H., Saxe, R. (2019). Development of predictive responses in theory of mind brain regions. Developmental Science, e12863 (Booklet 2; (4) Richardson, H., Gweon, H., Dodell-Feder, D., Malloy, C., Pelton, H., Keil, B., Kanwisher, N., Saxe, R. (2020). Response patterns in the developing social brain are organized by social and emotion features and disrupted in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Cortex, 125, 12-29. (Booklet 1; (5) Richardson, H., Koster-Hale, J., Caselli, N., Magid, R., Benedict, R., Olson, H., Pyers, J., Saxe, R. (2020). Reduced neural selectivity for mental states in deaf children with delayed exposure to sign language. Nature Communications, 11, 3246. (Booklet 2, ASL version; (6) Richardson, H., Saxe, R., Bedny, M. (2023). Neural correlates of theory of mind development in congenitally blind children. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 63, 101285. (Booklet 1, Park items only, for validation of new non-visual ToM task;

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


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