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Theory of Mind, Values, and Attitudes

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At around four years of age, a fundamental change occurs in children's understanding of others' behaviors or what is also called theory of mind. Using your knowledge from our readings, watch the video to determine which stage both Jacob and Patrick are currently in respectively.

Discuss both Jacob's and Patrick's reaction to the "mean monkey." What stage would Erickson say each child is in? How do these different stages influence their values and attitudes? Do you think it is possible for a child over the age of three to have trouble understanding that his or her beliefs can be false? Explain your reasoning.


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Erickson's Theory: He accepted many of Freud's conjectures of the id, ego, and superego, as you may know. Also, he accepted Freud's theory of sexual development. His stages enfold as part of some innate scheme, and the upbringing that is part of the child's culture. Each stage builds on the previous ones, you know Mary, and also sets the stage for the subsequent ones. So at three and four years old, both Jacob and Patrick have already gone through stages of trust vs. mistrust, autonomy versus shame & doubt, and may be immersed in ...

Solution Summary

The theory of mind, values and attitudes are determined.