Children's understanding of faux pas: Associations with peer relations

Watling, Dawn and Banerjee, Robin


Watling, Dawn and Banerjee, Robin (2005) Children's understanding of faux pas: Associations with peer relations. Hellenic Journal of Psychology:Special Issue on Theory of Mind, 2 (1).

Our Full Text Deposits

Full text access: Open

Full Text - 175.66 KB

Links to Copies of this Item Held Elsewhere


The present study addresses children's performance on the 'faux pas' test of social understanding. Based on previous tasks reported in Baron-Cohen et al. (1999) and Banerjee (2000). a computer interface was used to administer a new version that required children to answer forced-choice questions about four hypothetical stories involving unintentional insults. In a sample of 308 children the 5- to 6-year-olds were significantly poorer on the faux pas test then the 8- to-9-year-olds, as expected. Although the children performed well in identifying that feelings had been hurt and in answering comprehension questions, they found three questions relatively difficult: detecting faux pas in the first place, seeing that the insult was unintentional, and recognising the ignorance that led to the faux pas. Importantly, success on the key questions of the faux pas task was negatively associated with peer rejection. Rejected and controversial children, who receive relatively high numbers of negative sociometric nominations from their classmatess, performed significantly worse on this task than other children. This pattern was evident only for the older age group. Results are discussed in the light of recent research linking theory of mind performance with social adjustment.

Information about this Version

This is a Published version
This version's date is: 2005
This item is not peer reviewed

Link to this Version

Item TypeJournal Article
TitleChildren's understanding of faux pas: Associations with peer relations
AuthorsWatling, Dawn
Banerjee, Robin
Uncontrolled KeywordsFaux pas,theory of mind, peer relations
DepartmentsFaculty of Science\Psychology


Deposited by () on 23-Dec-2009 in Royal Holloway Research Online.Last modified on 23-Dec-2009