Developing deception detection skills: an investigation of theory of mind and emotion knowledge as precursors
Examining developmental factors that impact young children’s success in both social and cognitive domains has important implications for advancing our current knowledge concerning social cognitive development. Both emotion knowledge and perspective-taking skills impact how young children develop unique views the world; specifically, these skills are often relied upon for detecting deception in others. The purpose of the study was to examine predictors of children’s deception detection skills to shed light on the development of social cognition. Specifically, preschoolers’ emotion knowledge was examined as a potential moderator of the relation between Theory of Mind (ToM) and deception detection. Results indicated both children’s emotion knowledge and ToM develop over the preschool years and are positively related to the development of deception detection. However, emotion knowledge does not moderate the relation between ToM and deception detection.