eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 9

Review article
Research methods used to evaluate the theory of mind

Katarzyna Krystyna Gołębiewska
Krystyna Górna
Krystyna Danuta Jaracz

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2014; 9, 1: 22–29
Online publish date: 2014/05/26
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Premack and Woodruff were the first to introduce the term “theory of mind”. It means an innate ability to assign mental states to oneself and other people in order to predict and explain their behaviour. It has been a subject of interest to many studies since the 1980s. Due to the complexity and multidimensionality of the theory of mind, many methods of evaluation have been developed.

The aim of our study is to review the research tools used to measure the theory of mind. Selected research methods are discussed. They were assigned to four groups depending on the aspect of the theory of mind they deal with. The false-belief tasks are for example the Unexpected Transfer Test, and the Deceptive Box Test. The next test used to measure the theory of mind is the Appearance-Reality Task. The most common tests that evaluate the ability to understand blunders, metaphors, jokes, and irony include the Faux Pas Recognition Test, Hinting Task and Strange Stories Test. The tests that assess the capability to recognize complex emotions and mental states are Reading the Mind in Eyes, Inferring Mental States of Strangers from Video, Movie for Assessment of Social Cognition and the Short Story Task. A review of the proposed research methods aims to familiarize readers with the selected measurement tests of the theory of mind and to help researchers choose tools used to assess it.

theory of mind, affective theory of mind, false-belief task

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