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Avances en Psicología Latinoamericana

Print version ISSN 1794-4724


CARMIOL, ANA MARÍA. Early understanding of knowledge acquisition: Old perspectives, new horizons. Av. Psicol. Latinoam. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.2, pp.224-237. ISSN 1794-4724.

This article reviews findings and theoretical models concerning a specific aspect of theory-of-mind development, namely, the understanding of how knowledge is acquired. The review shows that where as the seminal research suggests this understanding emerges at around the age of four, recent evidence indicates it is already present at the end of the first year. Based on this, the emergent cultural learning theory proposed by Tomasello and colleagues attempts to integrate both findings into one developmental trajectory in order to explain mentalistic understanding. Despite its contributions, this new proposal could be enriched in two distinct ways: 1) by clarifying the specific differences concerning infants' and children's ability to understand mental states as internal representations, and 2) by specifying the mechanisms underlying the developmental trajectory concerning the understanding of behavior as the product of mental activity.

Keywords : teoría de la mente; adquisición de conocimiento; infancia; niñez temprana; teoría del aprendizaje cultural; theory of mind; understanding of knowledge acquisition; infancy; early childhood; cultural learning theory.

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