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When (and How) Is Theory of Mind Useful? Evidence from Life-Span Research

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451012 Year: Pages: 182 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-101-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Abstract

Theory of Mind (ToM) or mentalization is the ability to understand and foresee the behavior referring to one’s own and others’ mental states (Premack & Woodruff, 1978; Wimmer & Perner, 1983). This capacity, which is considered the most representative mechanism of social cognition, is a multifaceted set of competences liable to influence – and be influenced by – a manifold of psychosocial aspects. Studies on typical and atypical/clinical development during life showed that ToM is frequently delayed (e.g. in deafness) or impaired in many clinical conditions (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease) and, on the other hand, may not be unequivocally a positive experience. It is therefore possible to consider the existence of multiple kinds of Theory of Mind. In fact, ToM may vary along a quantitative and a qualitative continuum. As for the quantitative dimension, the continuum is constituted by the fluctuation between high and low levels of ToM ability in different clinical conditions. Along this continuum, impairment can mean “not enough” ToM (for example in Autism Spectrum Disorder) as well as “too much” ToM (for example in Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder). The qualitative dimension – highly interrelated with the quantitative one - regards the shift between adaptive (e.g. prosocial, nice ToM) vs. unadaptive (e.g. antisocial, nasty ToM) mental states content. The issue is discussed in light of recent evidence from outstanding researchers working on typical and atypical/clinical populations along the life-span. Findings from the fields of psychology, neuropsychology and neuroscience enrich the research topic argumentation.

Keywords

Theory of Mind --- typical --- clinical --- neural --- life-span

International Handbook of Health Literacy

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ISBN: 9781447344520 9781447344513 9781447344537 Year: Pages: 764 Language: English
Publisher: Policy Press
Subject: Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-07-30 11:21:03
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Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence. Health literacy addresses a range of social dimensions of health, including knowledge, navigation and communication, as well as individual and organizational skills for accessing, understanding, evaluating and using information. Particularly over the past decade, health literacy has globally become a major public health concern as an asset for promoting health, wellbeing and sustainable development.

Cognitive Development and Individual Variability

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ISBN: 9783039210527 / 9783039210534 Year: Pages: 158 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03921-053-4 Language: eng
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-08-28 11:21:27
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The standard approach to cognitive development most frequently consists of cross-sectional studies comparing different ages and groups while restricted to a single task. The necessity to focus on the individual in an idiographic perspective, rather than on the task or the variable, has been repeatedly emphasized, most recently in several very important papers by Nesselroade and Molenaar. Variability has also emerged as a crucial characteristic. Moreover, understanding the developmental construction of a given cognitive achievement is imperative to understanding cognitive functioning in adulthood. The general objective of this book is to focus on the individual by studying intraindividual and interindividual variability in various cognitive tasks, that is, intraindividual variability across items of a given task (inconsistency), across various cognitive tasks (dispersion), and/or across years (intraindividual change), and of course, on interindividual differences in intraindividual variability. This book presents empirical studies that have been conducted by research groups in Europe and in North America, prominent in the field of variability and development or methodology. The 26 authors/co-authors include senior authors such as Lautrey, Schmiedek, Dauvier, van der Maas, Ghisletta, Stawski, MacDonald, and de Ribaupierre.

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