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Theory of Mind

by Steve Zolotow |  Published: Jan 21, 2015


Theory of Mind, often abbreviated as ToM, has been one of the hottest topics in psychological research over the last thirty years or so. It may be simply described as the ability to correctly attribute mental states not only to yourself, but also to others. Mental states include beliefs, desires, and intentions. Normal children around the age of four can pass what is called the “False Belief Test.” An example of this test is to show a child the following situation: A girl is given a candy. She puts it in a box, and then leaves the room. A boy takes the candy from the box and hides it in a drawer. The girl returns to the room. Where will she look for the candy? The child viewing the scene knows that the candy is now in the drawer, but he should have developed a ToM capable of realizing that ...

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