The Ability of Preschoolers to Use Ideas About Other’s Knowledge and the Ways of Changing It



The article deals with the problem of the ability to use ideas about other’s knowledge and the ways of changing it, the ability to de-center thinking in the process of communication in the example of understanding deception in typically developing preschoolers and preschoolers with mental retardation. The recognition of deception is considered as a cognitive function, taking into account the specific techniques of the implementation of the mental model. Empirical sample of research: 72 children of pre-school age from 5 to 6 years. Contrast samples show the specificity of the lack of social interaction tools based on the mental model. Analyzed that in a game with deceit, a child is required to use signs to anticipate events that made it known about the nascent action of another person. In children with mental retardation in a game with deceptive action, shown a situational mode of action without taking into account the model of a mental interaction partner due to the lack of ability to decentration. The data reflects the relationship between the cognitive level of development and the level of the mental model in the process of forming the basis of social cognition and social experience in the early stages of ontogenesis.

General Information

Keywords: theory of mind, social cognition, tentative basis of actions, age development, preschool age, autism, mental retardation

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. This work was supported by grant President MK-3052.2018.6 “Formation of mechanisms of arbitrary regulation of the indicative part of joint activities in the early stages of ontogeny”.

For citation: Smirnova Y.K., Makashova A.V., Kharitonova M.A. The Ability of Preschoolers to Use Ideas About Other’s Knowledge and the Ways of Changing It [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2019. Vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 105–123. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2019080206. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Yana K. Smirnova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of the Department of General and Applied Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Altai State University, Barnaul, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Anna V. Makashova, 4th year student, Institute of Psychology, Altai State University, Barnaul, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Marina A. Kharitonova, Student, Altai State University (ASU), Barnaul, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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