1. Undifferentiated perspective-taking - Age: 3-6
Description: Children recognize that the self and others can have different thoughts and feelings, but they frequently confuse the two.
Response: The child predicts that Holly will save the kitten because she does not want it to get hurt and believes that Holly's father will feel just as she does about her climbing the tree: "Happy, he likes kittens."
2. Social-informational perspective-taking - Age: 5-9
Description: Children understand that different perspectives may result because people have access to different information.
Response: When asked how Holly's father will react when he finds out that she climbed the tree, the child responds, "If he didn't know anything about the kitten, he would be angry. But if Holly shows him the kitten, he might change his mind."
3. Self-reflective perspective-taking - Age: 7-12
Description: Children can "step in another person's shoes" and view their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviour from the other person's perspective. They also recognize that others can do the same.
Response: When asked whether Holly thinks she will be punished, the child says, "No. Holly knows that her father will understand why she climbed the tree." This response assumes that Holly's point of view is influenced by her father being able to "step in her shoes" and understand why she saved the kitten.
4. Third-party perspective-taking - Age: 10-15
Description: Children can step outside a two-person situation and imagine how the self and other are viewed from the point of view of a third, impartial party.
Response: When asked whether Holly should be punished, the child says, "No, because Holly thought it was important to save the kitten. But she also knows that her father told her not to climb the tree. So she'd only think she shouldn't be punished if she could get her father to understand why she had to climb the tree." This response steps outside the immediate situation to view both Holly's and her father's perspectives simultaneously.
5. Societal perspective-taking - Age: 14-Adult
Description: Individuals understand that third-party perspective-taking can be influenced by one or more systems of larger societal values.
Response: When asked if Holly should be punished, the individual responds, "No. The value of humane treatment of animals justifies Holly's action. Her father's appreciation of this value will lead him not to punish her."