Volume 23, Issue 3 (Fall 2017)                   IJPCP 2017, 23(3): 294-305 | Back to browse issues page


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Tehrani Doost M, Shahrivar Z, Khorrami Banaraki A, Mohammad Zadeh A. Validity of the “Moving Shapes” Paradigm: A Test to Evaluate the Ability to Understand Others’ Intentionality. IJPCP. 2017; 23 (3) :294-305
URL: http://ijpcp.iums.ac.ir/article-1-2447-en.html
1- Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist, Professor Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2- Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Associate Professor Research Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.-Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. 3. Psychiatry Assistant, Depar , E-mail: sharivar@sina.tums.ac.ir
3- PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, Physician , Department of Cognitive Sciences, Institute for Cognitive Science Studies, Tehran, Iran
4- MSc. of Cognitive Sciences Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
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Extended Abstract
1. Introduction

Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability of human beings to realize that others have desires, feelings, thoughts, intention, and so on [1]. To measure this theory in children, many instruments have been developed and used. Most of these instruments evaluated first- and second-order false belief tasks, which can be passed by children aged 3-4 years. These tasks have been performed both in normally developing children and those with neuro-developmental disorders such as autism spectrum, communication disorder, and intellectual disability. Many children with developmental disorders function well in these tasks; therefore, some advanced tests have been designed to assess the theory of mind. Attributing intention to others’ behavior is one of the important factors in the theory of mind development. Hence, a new test named “Moving shapes paradigm” has been designed to evaluate intentionality in children and adults [6]. In this test, some animations are displayed on the monitor and the examinee is asked to describe what the moving shapes (a triangle and a rectangle) are doing or feeling and what the intention of their movement is. These animations are categorized into three conditions: random movement, goal-directed interactions, and metallizing interactions. The tasks can evoke realization of the intention and reason for the actions of the moving shapes. Describing the story of the animations and answering to the examiner’s questions about the moving shapes need verbal ability. In addition, this task is culture-dependent, and so, we decided to evaluate the validity of the “Moving shapes paradigm” in a group of Iranian school-aged children to assess their understanding of intentionality.
2. Methods
In the first stage, after receiving permission from the main designer of the test, the package was adapted graphically to be more feasible and attractive for children. Then the new version was approved by the main designer. The method of scoring and the test questions were translated from English into Persian. The tasks were used in the pilot study on 10 school-aged girls and boys to test its feasibility and technical problems. 
In the second stage,  workshop on the basic issues of the theory of mind and the method of performing the Moving shapes paradigm was conducted by a PhD holder in neuroscience who had experience in performing neurocognitive assessments. Eight psychologists with BSc. degree were to perform the paradigm in schools. They had enough time to practice the administration of the test under the supervision of the trainer and clear related queries. Based on the trainer’s assessment, the trainees were chosen for the study. During the study, they were allowed to contact the trainer to get help in solving any issue.
In the third stage, through randomized cluster sampling, 9- to 11-year-old students were recruited among the main-stream schools in regions 6, 7, 11 and 12 of Tehran. In each school, the parents were asked to participate in a meeting, where the examiners explained the study objectives and received consent from them. Then the parents completed the Children Behavior Checklist (CBCL). After using the Ishihara test to rule out color-blindness, the “Moving shapes paradigm was performed for all the children. Data were analyzed using descriptive methods, t test, linear regression, and Pearson’s correlation analysis.
3. Results
The girls and boys were matched in terms of age, academic level and the means of the paradigm subscales scores. The mean age of the students was 9.96 (SD=0.916) years, and 49.2% of them were male. There was no significant association between age and gender with intentionality score (IN-S). A regression analysis showed that age could not predict the score of intentionality. The mean(SD)s of the paradigm subscales scores are shown in Table 1. All variables of the “moving shapes” paradigm were significantly correlated with each other (P<0.05) (Table 2). Correlation coefficient for Intentionality Score (IN-S) and number of Metallizing Terms (M-Terms) was 0.612 (P=0.01). There was no significant association between the CBCL subscales scores and the animations’ variables.
4. Conclusion
This study was the first research using the “Moving shapes paradigm” in a large group of children in the Iranian community. The results of this study showed that there were some students who could achieve the highest scores of the test targets, except for (AP-S) and (L-S). In terms of intentionality (IN-S), 97% of the children achieved scores lower than 40 (the maximum possible score was 60). Participants used approximately 5 emotional terms and 4.5 mentalizing terms to describe the moving shapes (maximum possible was 16 & 24, respectively). We did not find any significant difference between males and females regarding the paradigm scores, a finding consistent with Knickmeyer et al. (2006) study [3], while Pavlova (2009) showed that girls achieved a higher intentionality score and used more emotional and mental states terms compared to boys [14]. 
Based on the studies by Abell et al. (2000) [2] and Castelli et al. (2000) [6] using the “Moving shapes paradigm”, normal children could answer correctly only half of the mentalizing tasks (showing that they understand the internationality of others behavior) while the adults could answer more than 75% of the targets. All the variables of the “Moving shapes paradigm” were positively and significantly correlated. They reported a good relation between the intentionality score and the number of terms that the children used to describe the mindset of the animations. However, we found a relatively weak association between the number of emotional terms and the internationality score. Although these findings support the constructive validity of the test, they could not show an acceptable concurrent validity for it. In conclusion, the “Moving shapes paradigm” can be used as a valid test to evaluate the intentionality of school-aged children in Iran.
Acknowledgments
This paper was financially supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Grant Number: 18256). We are thankful to all the children and their parents who participated in this study. Besides, we are thankful to our colleagues who performed the study instruments.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declared no conflicts of interest. 
 
References
  1. Baron Cohen S, Tager Flusberg H, Cohen DJ. Understanding other minds: Perspective from autism. New York: Oxford University Press; 2000.
  2. Abell F, Happé F, Frith U. Do triangles play tricks? Attribution of mental states to animated shapes in normal and abnormal development. Cognitive Development. 2000; 15(1):1–16. doi: 10.1016/s0885-2014(00)00014-9
  3. Knickmeyer R, Baron Cohen S, Raggatt P, Taylor K, Hackett G. Fetal testosterone and empathy. Hormones and Behavior. 2006; 49(3):282–92. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.08.010
  4. Montgomery DE, Montgomery DA. The influence of movement and outcome on young children's attributions of intention. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 1999; 17(2):245-61. doi: 10.1348/026151099165258
  5. Bowler DM, Thommen E. Attribution of mechanical and social causality to animated displays by children with autism. Autism. 2000; 4(2):147–71. doi: 10.1177/1362361300004002004
  6. Castelli F, Happé F, Frith U, Frith C. Movement and mind: A functional imaging study of perception and interpretation of complex intentional movement patterns. NeuroImage. 2000; 12(3):314–25. doi: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0612
  7. Mohammadzadeh A, Tehrani Doost M, Banaraki AK. Evaluation of ToM (intentionality) in primary school children using movement shape paradigm. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2012; 32:69–73. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.01.012
  8. Mohammadzadeh A, Tehrani Doost M, Khorrami A, Noorian N. Understanding intentionality in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders. 2015; 8(2):73–8. doi: 10.1007/s12402-015-0187-9.
  9. Ishihara S. Tests for colour blindness. Tokyo: Kanehara Shuppan Company; 1960.
  10. Achenbach TM. Manual for the child behavior checklist/4-18 and 1991 profile. Burlington: University of Vermont; 1991.
  11. Tehrani Doost M, Shahrivar Z, Pakbaz B, Rezaie A, Ahmadi F. Normative data and psychometric properties of the child behavior checklist and teacher rating form in an Iranian community sample. Iranian Journal of Pediatrics. 2011; 21(3):331-42.
  12. Castelli F. Autism, asperger syndrome and brain mechanisms for the attribution of mental states to animated shapes. Brain. 2002; 125(8):1839–49. doi: 10.1093/brain/awf189
  13. Knickmeyer R, Baron Cohen S, Raggatt P, Taylor K, Hackett G. Fetal testosterone and empathy. Hormones and Behavior. 2006; 49(3):282–92. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.08.010
  14. Pavlova M. Perception and understanding of intentions and actions: Does gender matter. Neuroscience Letters. 2009; 449(2):133–6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.10.102
Type of Study: Original Research | Subject: General
Received: 2016/02/10 | Accepted: 2017/01/25 | Published: 2017/10/1

References
1. Baron Cohen S, Tager Flusberg H, Cohen DJ. Understanding other minds: Perspective from autism. New York: Oxford University Press; 2000. [PMCID]
2. Abell F, Happé F, Frith U. Do triangles play tricks? Attribution of mental states to animated shapes in normal and abnormal development. Cognitive Development. 2000; 15(1):1–16. doi: 10.1016/s0885-2014(00)00014-9 [DOI:10.1016/S0885-2014(00)00014-9]
3. Knickmeyer R, Baron Cohen S, Raggatt P, Taylor K, Hackett G. Fetal testosterone and empathy. Hormones and Behavior. 2006; 49(3):282–92. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.08.010 [DOI:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.08.010]
4. Montgomery DE, Montgomery DA. The influence of movement and outcome on young children's attributions of intention. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 1999; 17(2):245-61. doi: 10.1348/026151099165258 [DOI:10.1348/026151099165258]
5. Bowler DM, Thommen E. Attribution of mechanical and social causality to animated displays by children with autism. Autism. 2000; 4(2):147–71. doi: 10.1177/1362361300004002004 [DOI:10.1177/1362361300004002004]
6. Castelli F, Happé F, Frith U, Frith C. Movement and mind: A functional imaging study of perception and interpretation of complex intentional movement patterns. NeuroImage. 2000; 12(3):314–25. doi: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0612 [DOI:10.1006/nimg.2000.0612]
7. Mohammadzadeh A, Tehrani Doost M, Banaraki AK. Evaluation of ToM (intentionality) in primary school children using movement shape paradigm. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2012; 32:69–73. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.01.012 [DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.01.012]
8. Mohammadzadeh A, Tehrani Doost M, Khorrami A, Noorian N. Understanding intentionality in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders. 2015; 8(2):73–8. doi: 10.1007/s12402-015-0187-9. [DOI:10.1007/s12402-015-0187-9]
9. Ishihara S. Tests for colour blindness. Tokyo: Kanehara Shuppan Company; 1960.
10. Achenbach TM. Manual for the child behavior checklist/4-18 and 1991 profile. Burlington: University of Vermont; 1991.
11. Tehrani Doost M, Shahrivar Z, Pakbaz B, Rezaie A, Ahmadi F. Normative data and psychometric properties of the child behavior checklist and teacher rating form in an Iranian community sample. Iranian Journal of Pediatrics. 2011; 21(3):331-42. [PMID] [PMCID]
12. Castelli F. Autism, asperger syndrome and brain mechanisms for the attribution of mental states to animated shapes. Brain. 2002; 125(8):1839–49. doi: 10.1093/brain/awf189 [DOI:10.1093/brain/awf189]
13. Knickmeyer R, Baron Cohen S, Raggatt P, Taylor K, Hackett G. Fetal testosterone and empathy. Hormones and Behavior. 2006; 49(3):282–92. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.08.010 [DOI:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.08.010]
14. Pavlova M. Perception and understanding of intentions and actions: Does gender matter. Neuroscience Letters. 2009; 449(2):133–6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.10.102 [DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2008.10.102]

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