chapter  4
31 Pages

Theory of Mind, Machiavellianism, and Social Functioning in Childhood

WithBetty Repacholi, Virginia Slaughter, Michelle Pritchard, & Vicki Gibbs

An issue of central interest to developmental psychologists has been whether and how children’s social understanding is related to their social functioning. That is, how does children’s knowledge about self and other as social beings reflect or affect different aspects of their social lives? Do children who have a good understanding of the social world also demonstrate high levels of social functioning, or are social knowledge and social functioning relatively distinct? It makes intuitive sense that children who know more about the social world should be best equipped to function in that world. However, it is also evident that social knowledge and social functioning are both complex constructs (Bosacki & Astington, 1999), and therefore the links between them are likely to be quite intricate.