Theory of Mind: An Overview and Behavioral Perspective

  title={Theory of Mind: An Overview and Behavioral Perspective},
  author={H. Schlinger},
  journal={The Psychological Record},
  • H. Schlinger
  • Published 2009
  • Psychology
  • The Psychological Record
Theory of mind (ToM) refers to the ability of an individual to make inferences about what others may be thinking or feeling and to predict what they may do in a given situation based on those inferences. Discussions of ToM focus almost exclusively on inferred cognitive structures and processes and shed little light on the actual behaviors involved. In this article, I (a) selectively overview the literature on ToM, (b) suggest that the behavioral relations referred to by ToM scholars can be… Expand
The Study of Perspective-Taking: Contributions from Mainstream Psychology and Behavior Analysis
The key purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive overview of the literature on perspective-taking from within mainstream psychology and behavior analysis. The primary focus will be onExpand
A functional analysis of psychological terms redux
In his seminal paper, “An Operational Analysis of Psychological Terms,” Skinner (1945) offered the revolutionary suggestion that, rather than endlessly debating the meanings of psychological terms,Expand
Thinking about the thoughts of others; temporal and spatial neural activation during false belief reasoning
The findings extend the literature by demonstrating the timing and duration of neural activity in the main regions involved in the "mentalizing" network, showing that activations related to false belief in adults are predominantly right lateralized and onset around 100ms. Expand
A behavior-analytic perspective on development
In this article, I describe how my behavior-analytic perspective on infant and child development evolved and what a behavior-analytic theory of development might look like. I begin by describing howExpand
Teaching perspective-taking skills to an adult with Down syndrome: A case study
Abstract Perspective-taking has for many years attracted considerable research attention in the mainstream cognitive developmental literature, under the rubric of Theory of Mind. Recently, the modernExpand
Teaching a Deictic Relational Repertoire to Children with Autism
Perspective-taking skills are crucial for successful social interactions and individuals with autism often have great difficulty in this area. Recent research in the area of Relational Frame TheoryExpand
Assessing Perspective Taking in Schizophrenia Using Relational Frame Theory
The current study assessed deictic relational responding in people with schizophrenia. A perspective-taking task and a mental states attribution task were employed with a sample of 15 patientsExpand
Training perspective taking skills in individuals with intellectual disabilities: A functional approach
Abstract The Relational Frame Theory (RFT) approach to language and cognition allows for the laying down of theoretical foundations for a new way of addressing research on perspective taking. RFTExpand
Evaluación de relaciones deícticas y teoría de la mente con una muestra de estudiantes universitarios
Assessing Deictic Relational Responding and Theory of Mind with a Sample of University Students. In the study of the Theory of Mind (ToM) as a sine qua non capacity for the development of basicExpand
Perspective Taking as a Continuum
In recent years, behavior analysts have given an increasing amount of attention to the topic of perspective taking. However, the construct of perspective taking refers to a number of behaviors thatExpand


Perspective-Taking as Relational Responding: A Developmental Profile
Developmental psychologists have been interested in the cognitive ability of perspective-taking for a number of years due to the apparent link between perspective-taking deficits and AutisticExpand
A Behavior Analytic Interpretation of Theory of Mind.
  • J. Spradlin, N. Brady
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Revista internacional de psicologia y terapia psicologica = International journal of psychology and psychological therapy
  • 2008
It is proposed that perspective taking is a very common activity in the authors' daily lives and that performance on false belief tests is a special case of perspective taking. Expand
Theory of mind in nonhuman primates.
  • C. Heyes
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • The Behavioral and brain sciences
  • 1998
A procedure that uses conditional discrimination training and transfer tests to determine whether chimpanzees have the concept "see" is proposed and critics are invited to identify flaws in the procedure and to suggest alternatives. Expand
Understanding False Belief as Generalized Operant Behavior
The current work reports 2 experiments that investigate the development of false belief from the perspective of Relational Frame Theory. The true and false belief test protocol used across bothExpand
Narrative Discourse and Theory of Mind Development
The influence of social discourse on children's theory of mind development is supported, and modifications of the training procedure led to significant improvements on measures of false belief and deception from pretest to 1st posttest. Expand
A longitudinal study of the relation between language and theory-of-mind development.
Earlier language abilities predicted later theory-of-mind test performance, but earlier theory of mind did not predict later language test performance (controlling for earlier language), consistent with the argument that language is fundamental to theory- of-mind development. Expand
The acquisition of mental verbs: A systematic investigation of the first reference to mental state
The results of using a method of convergent analyses of naturally occurring speech to assess the young child’s ability to contemplate and communicate about mental state suggest that still younger children lack awareness of such states, or at the very least, an understanding of their appropriateness as topics of conversation. Expand
The influence of language on theory of mind: a training study.
The main findings were that the group trained on sentential complements not only acquired the linguistic knowledge fostered by the training, but also significantly increased their scores on a range of theory of mind tasks. Expand
Three-year-olds' problems with false belief: conceptual deficit or linguistic artifact?
It was found that 3-year-olds' access to information about others' mental states is bounded by the linguistic demands placed upon them, but long before their fourth birthday children have some understanding of others' mind. Expand
Beliefs about beliefs [P&W, SR&B]
capacity to match across modality (Davenport and Rogers, 1970), so the match from tool to function is a reasonable possibility. This does not detract from the clever experiments of SR&B and of P&W,Expand