How do children understand how others see the world? I examined correlations between 4-8 year old children's understanding of beliefs and their understanding of other ways that people represent the world. Beliefs that I measured are understanding of pretense, understanding that things can have multiple identities, understanding that people can know things by inference, and understanding that people can look at the same thing and have different representations of it. I predicted that there would be correlations among these tasks. In particular, I predicted children would be able to understand these tasks when they understood true and false beliefs, based on current theories on belief understanding. I predicted that the classic false belief task alone would not be a good predictor of task performance, but that the combination of true and false belief tasks would. Participants were 100 children recruited at the Phoenix Children's Museum between ages 4 and 8. Previous research has found that children pass all of these tasks between the ages of 6 and 8, but no other studies have looked at the inter-correlations among them. Contrary to my prediction, children did not pass these tasks all at once, but scores went up gradually with age and belief understanding.
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