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School Seminar: Prof. Claire Hughes

Online - link to be confirmed
Wednesday 3 March 2021 (13:00-14:00)

For more information contact the Host for this event: Prof. Ian Apperly (

Mentalising from Preschool to Parenthood: Social Influences (& Consequences)

Why do children’s mentalising skills show such marked individual differences?  To address this question, I will explore whether early differences in parent-child conversations about cognitive states can explain contrasts in children’s false belief understanding (FBU).  The first part of my talk includes analyses of both between- and within-culture variation in FBU.  The second part applies evidence from separate longitudinal studies to consider which aspect of parental mentalising matters most for child FBU.  The third part turns to little-explored within-family contrasts in parental mentalizing (e.g., mothers vs fathers, changes over time and birth-order effects).  Finally, I present findings that demonstrate that even beyond the preschool years, parental mentalising plays a buffering role in reducing the risk of children developing problems of disruptive behaviour.

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