A more efficient theory of mind takes over; the youngster is more able to make critical and sceptical judgements about which things in the world have conscious and deliberate agency and which do not. Clearly, this ability is more finely tuned in some more than others.
I agree with all you say in your post, and particularly noticed the above excerpt. I think you have pin-pointed the relevant factor, the ability being more finely-tuned in some than in others.
It explains perfectly why many otherwise very perceptive people are ensnared in a belief in a supernatural god. Their ability "to make critical and sceptical judgements" in this direction is less finely tuned than in non-believers.
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