Louisa Kulke, Mirjam Reiß, Horst Krist, and Hannes Rakoczy (In Press)

How robust are anticipatory looking measures of Theory of Mind? Replication attempts across the life span

Cognitive Development.

Recent findings from new implicit looking time tasks indicate that children show anticipatory looking patterns suggesting false belief processing from very early on; however, systematic and independent tests of their replicability and their convergent validity are still outstanding. The current paper reports three studies from two independent research labs that attempted to test the replicability and convergent validity (using correlation analyses) of the Southgate et al. (2007) and the Surian and Geraci (2012) paradigms. Results showed that the original findings can neither be replicated in children nor in elderly adults, and can only partially be replicated in adults. Furthermore, the two different paradigms did not correlate, which puts into question the convergent validity of these tasks as tapping the same capacity of an implicit Theory of Mind. In conclusion, the present studies suggest that the results from implicit Theory of Mind tasks should be treated with caution.

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