Know About Naive Psychology Child Development And Social Cognition

Naive Psychology Child Development

What do preschoolers think when they see an object around? Do they understand the first initial words they speak? They have their theories about objects which are not logical, but yet they tend to believe it. This page outlines a few aspects of naïve psychology child development, and how it concerns their perception and cognitive skills.

Naïve psychology is one of many aspects of naïve theory apart from concerns the physical, biological, and chemical aspects of the child’s development and growth. It explains the behavioral response of a child when he/she deals with a situation or task.

Henry Wellman, a well-known developmental psychologist, deals with aspects of naïve psychology. He explains in his research the three phases a child’s mind develops in pre-school years. The following phases are:

Phase 1 In Naive psychology Child development

A baby sitting on a bed

Toddlers become mindful in expressing their impulse or desire when they are two years old ideally. They tend to convey their desires. They become aware of their own and the desire of other people surrounding them. Hence by the age of two, toddlers express their impulses, and these are assigned to a particular behavior. For example, some children cry when we don’t understand their actions and become silent when we guess their actions. It allows making people around the child aware of his/her cravings and habits. They have no idea of mental states at this age.

Phase 2

A little girl sitting at a table

This phase is commonly observed in the three-year-olds. They develop the ability to differentiate between a physical and mental world. They can make a mental image of any action they see, hear, or feel around. For example: If you say to most of the children that their dad is going outside, then they will know to picture their dad leaving the gate or courtyard and would head or look to the gate in response

Phase 3

The children at the age of four try to make themselves aware of their own and other people’s desires and behavior. It means their mental state to understand their habits grow along with the physiological changes. Children develop a belief system at this age. They have a notion about things and people around them and like to believe it, even if they are wrong. Psychologists have modeled such developmental transformations with the help of “false belief tasks” assigned to 4-year-old children to predict their behavior in various situations.


These phases and actions intrigue psychologists to study Naïve psychology child development and help them experiment with their cognitive skills. Several papers on children’s behavior on different emotions, perceptions on living and non-living things, etc. are widely studied. The children of age 2-4 years gradually try to establish their relationship with their perception-sensory skills to perceive the thoughts of tools, ideas, and people around them. Children have their own beliefs and try to look at the world with these ideas, which are far different. So, it is clear why, from a child’s view, the world appears so simple.

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