Improving Preschoolers’ Theory Of Mind Skills With Digital Games: A Training Study




Nikolayev, Mariya

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This single-subject research study examined functional relation between digital games enriched with voice-overs and theory of mind (ToM) when game play was either followed or not followed by a discussion focused on the game’s content. The study employed multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate the effects of games with mental state language voice-overs as well as games with mental state language voice-overs combined with a follow-up discussion of children’s ToM skills. ToM was assessed with two measures based on a continuous ToM assessment scale; the first measure included three tasks and targeted earlier-developing ToM skills (diverse desires, diverse beliefs, and knowledge access) and the other measure included 2 tasks that assessed later-developing ToM competency, false belief understanding. The voice-overs for the games were created based on results of research studies examining language conducive to ToM development and validated by a group of early childhood educators.



Education, Educational technology, Developmental psychology, Digital Games, Educational Content Development, Learning from Media, Preschoolers, Social-emotional development, Theory of Mind