Theory of Mind Without the Concept of «Mind» Itself



The article provides the results of research carried out on the samples of preschoolers (N = 55) and adults (N = 19). They were given the task to range ten animals (from ladybird to monkey) on the scale «the cleverest — the silliest». The preschoolers' results do not comply with the anthropomorphic hypothesis that supposes that children assess animals' intelligence depending on their similarity to a human. Children differ from adults not only in ranking different animals but also in the essence of characteristics used for evaluation of animals' intelligence. The indicator that estimates the resemblance of children's ranking of animals' intelligence with the averaged adults' ranking does not correlate significantly with the results of solving tasks on mind theory performed by the preschoolers.

General Information

Keywords: theory of mind, psychological intelligence, children's representations of animals' intelligence, anthropomorphic hypothesis.

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Meshcheryakov B.G., Dubovskaya I.S., Dubyaga E.V. Theory of Mind Without the Concept of «Mind» Itself. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2011. Vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 66–73. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Boris G. Meshcheryakov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of Psychology, FSGN, State University “Dubna”, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the International Scientific Journal "Cultural-Historical Psychology", Dubna, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Irina S. Dubovskaya, Master in Psychology, alumni of the the Psychology chair of the «Dubna» University, Dubna, Russia, e-mail:

Ekaterina V. Dubyaga, Master in Psychology, alumni of the the Psychology chair of the «Dubna» University, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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