Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Theory of Mind: "Theory of Mind" (ToM), refers to the ability to be aware that other people or animals have their own thoughts, beliefs, intentions and emotions, which may differ from your own. It is about understanding that the mental states of others can influence their actions and decisions. The term comes from Daniel Dennett (Dennett, D. (1978). Beliefs about beliefs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1, 568-570). It has been further developed by many authors in psychology, including Premack, Woodruff, Perner and Baron-Cohen.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Social Psychology on Theory of Mind - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 104
Theory of Mind/Social Psychology/Upton: Although clearly a cognitive skill, theory of mind is also a social skill that plays an important role in our ability to get on with others (Liddle and Nettle, 2006)(1).
>Social behavior
, >Social relationships, >Socialization, >Intersubjectivity, >Other minds.
If you have theory of mind, you are able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, to imagine what it is they are feeling. In this way, theory of mind is a part of empathy – our ability to understand and identify identify with another person’s feelings. Empathy is also believed to play an important role in fostering pro-social behaviour and social competence (Eisenberg and Fabes, 1998(2); Hoffman, 2000(3)), both of which are important for good peer relationships during the school years.

1. Liddle, B and Nettle, D (2006) Higher-order theory of mind and social competence in school-age children. Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology, 4: 231–46.
2. Eisenberg, N and Fabes, RA (1998) Prosocial development, in Eisenberg, N (ed.) Handbook of Child Psychology, Vol. 3: Social, emotional, and personality development. New York: Wiley.
3. Hoffman, ML (2000) Empathy and Moral Development: Implications for caring and justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Social Psychology
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011

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