Consciousness and control: The argument from developmental psychology

Philip David Zelazo, Douglas Frye

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Limitations of Dienes and Perner's (D and P's) theory are traced to the assumption that the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness is true. D and P claim that 18-month-old children are capable of explicitly representing factuality, from which it follows (on D and P's theory) that they are capable of explicitly representing content, attitude, and self. D and P then attempt to explain 3-year-olds' failures on tests of voluntary control such as the dimensional change card sort by suggesting that at this age children cannot represent content and attitude explicitly. We provide a better levels-of-consciousness account for age-related abulic dissociations between knowledge and action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-790
Number of pages2
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


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