The Theory Of Mind : A Research Study Into Autism Spectrum Disorder ( Asd )

1830 WordsMay 18, 20168 Pages
People understand each other using cognitive skills, such as 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). For most people 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 in children. Additionally, adult mindreading will be evaluated to appreciate how people interpret other people’s behaviour. Subsequently, mindreading difficulties will be examined by exploring research into Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), indicating a link between deficits in ToM and cognitive empathy. 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 (Hewson, 2015c) seeks to discover how false belief progresses in children. Briefly, the experimenter shows a child two puppets, Sally and Anne. Sally places a marble into a basket and leaves the room. Anne
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