Consciousness and Cognition 51:268-278 (2017)

Authors
Bertram F. Malle
Brown University
Jordan A. Shaw
Washington University in St. Louis
Lauren Bryant
University of Virginia
Abstract
Joint attention (JA) is hypothesized to have a close relationship with developing theory of mind (ToM) capabilities. We tested the co-occurrence of ToM and JA in social interactions between adults with no reported history of psychiatric illness or neurodevelopmental disorders. Participants engaged in an experimental task that encouraged nonverbal communication, including JA, and also ToM activity. We adapted an in-lab variant of experience sampling methods (Bryant, Coffey, Povinelli, & Pruett, 2013) to measure ToM during JA based on participants’ subjective reports of their thoughts while performing the task. This experiment successfully elicited instances of JA in 17/20 dyads. We compared participants’ thought contents during episodes of JA and non-JA. Our results suggest that, in adults, JA and ToM may occur independently.
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2017.02.012
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