How Psychology Is The Theory Of Mind

1783 Words May 17th, 2016 8 Pages
People understand each other using cognitive skills, an example of this is mindreading. Mindreading abilities also referred to as the theory of mind (ToM) is acknowledging that other people have mental states, such as understanding that others have desires, motives, beliefs and intentions (Hewson, 2015a). This is generally an essential, undemanding skill for social interaction. Thereby, this essay will evaluate how psychology has helped to explain how people understand each other by firstly, explaining how different aspects of ToM have been studied. Additionally, Heider and Simmel’s (1944) study of geometric shapes will be explored to demonstrate how people interpret other people’s behaviour, even in animation. Subsequently, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will be examined to show how psychology has assisted in explaining how people with the condition have mindreading difficulties and how psychology is helping in developing their mindreading skills. Finally, relationship conflict will be discussed showing the cognitive processes people use in these circumstances, which create mindreading difficulties in people who do not generally have a problem with it.
An aspect of ToM is false belief. A false belief is the understanding that other people will have different beliefs to one’s own. Studies have shown that false belief develops throughout childhood. The Sally-Anne task seeks to discover how false belief progresses in children. Briefly, the experimenter shows a child two…
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