The Emergence of Visual and Conceptual Perspective-Taking Abilities in Three and Four-Year-Old Children
We investigated the gradual emergence of visual and conceptual perspective-taking between three and four-year-old children. We hypothesized that the ability to perform non-egocentrically on visual perspective-taking would emerge before the ability to perform non-egocentrically on conceptual perspective-taking. Furthermore, we believed that four-year-olds would respond less egocentrically on both tasks in comparison to three-year-olds. We created a visual perspective-taking task, which consisted of identifying the viewpoints of a stuffed bear from a colorful box with distinct sides, and a conceptual perspective-taking task, which consisted of choosing an item for their mothers between a child item and an adult item. We found no support for our hypothesis regarding differences in performance across both tasks between three and four-year-olds. However, according to a binomial test of significance, we found that visual perspective-taking does emerge before conceptual perspective-taking. Thus, it is conceivable that conceptual perspective-taking requires a higher level of cognitive understanding and reasoning than visual perspective-taking.