Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
This study examined children's understanding of the role of intentionality in social interactions. Four, six, and eight year olds were read stories, illustrated with simple pictures, depicting accidental or deliberate actions. The study used a forced choice paradigm that asked children to indicate which of two pictures showed (1) an intentional (or unintentional) act and (2) a situation in which the victim would be sad (or mad). Six and eight year olds, but not Four year olds, correctly identified deliberate actions at above chance levels. Eight year olds identified accidental actions and situations in which the victim would be mad at above chance. Understanding that anger was an expected emotional response to intentional harm, but not to accidental harm, increased with age.
BF1 .M63 v. 1 no. 2 1993
Haver, Kathleen Grace and Justice, Elaine M.
"Children's understanding of intentions, emotions, and intention-emotion relationships,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 1:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol1/iss2/3