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Korean preschoolers' advanced inhibitory control and its relation to other executive skills and mental state understanding

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date01/2008
JournalChild Development
Journal number1
Volume79
Number of pages20
Pages80-99
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study assessed executive function and mental state understanding in Korean preschoolers. In Experiment 1, forty 3.5- and 4-year-old Koreans showed ceiling performance on inhibition and switching measures, although their performance on working memory and false belief was comparable to that of Western children. Experiment 2 revealed a similar advantage in a sample of seventy-six 3- and 4-year-old Koreans compared with sixty-four age-matched British children. Korean children younger than 3.5 years of age showed ceiling effects on some inhibition measures despite more stringent protocols and the link between executive function and mental state understanding was not as strong as in the British sample. The results raise key questions about the nature and development of the executive system and its relation to social understanding.