Rule Understanding, Subjective Perspectives, and Social Display Rules



The project will conduct theoretical as well as empirical investigations. Part 1 consists of a theoretical investigation of the development of rule understanding and rule following. Part 2 and 3 consist of 3 empirical studies.
Study 1 of Part 2 is a cross-sectional correlational study. Eighty 3- to 6-year-old-children will be given different display rule tasks, executive function tasks (including inhibition, set-shifting, and working memory measures) and a battery of theory of mind tasks.

Study 2 of Part 2 is a cross-cultural study. Sixty 3- to 6-year-old children from Austria, Great Britain, and Japan will be given a battery of display rule measures.

In Part 3, 20 children with autism and a matched control group of 20 typically developing children will receive different display-rule tasks, executive function measures, and theory of mind tasks.
This project investigates relations between the development of rule understanding (arbitrary task-rules as well as common social display rules) and a) the understanding of subjective perspectives (i.e., understanding that humans possess subjective points of view) and b) the development of executive functions (i.e., the ability to control actions, thoughts, and emotions). The project aims at answering the following questions: (1) What do “Levels of consciousness (LOC) models” tell us about the development of rule understanding and rule following? (2) How does children’s use and knowledge of social display rules develop? (3) Are children with autism aware of social display rules and are they able to use such emotional display rules?
Tatsächlicher Beginn/ -es Ende1/10/1130/09/16

Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige 2002

  • 5504 Experimentelle Psychologie
  • 5524 Entwicklungspsychologie

Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige 2012

  • 501 Psychologie


  • Entwicklungspsychologie
  • theory of mind
  • rule understanding
  • mental causation