A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
From a cognitive perspective, intentional communication may be viewed as an agent's activity overtly aimed at modifying a partner's mental states. According to standard Gricean definitions, this requires each party to be able to ascribe mental states to the other, i.e., to entertain a so-called theory of mind. According to the relevant experimental literature, however, such capability does not appear before the third or fourth birthday; it would follow that children under that age should not be viewed as communicating agents. (...) In order to solve the resulting dilemma, we propose that certain specific components of an agent's cognitive architecture (namely, a peculiar version of sharedness and communicative intention), are necessary and sufficient to explain infant communication in a mentalist framework. We also argue that these components are innate in the human species. (shrink)
We propose a mentalistic and nativist view of human early mental and social life and of the ontogeny of mindreading. We define the mental state of sharedness as the primitive, one-sided capability to take one's own mental states as mutually known to an i nteractant. We argue that this capability is an innate feature of the human mind, which the child uses to make a subjective sense of the world and of her actions. We argue that the child takes all (...) of her mental states as shared with her caregivers. This a llows her to interact with her caregivers in a mentalistic way from the very beginning and provides the grounds on which the later maturation of mindreading will build. As the latter process occurs, the child begins to understand the mental world in terms of differences between the mental states of different agents; subjectively, this also corresponds to the birth of privateness. ? (shrink)
We outline a theory of human agency and communication and discuss the role that the capability to share (that is, intersubjectivity) plays in it. All the notions discussed are cast in a mentalistic and radically constructivist framework. We also introduce and discuss the relevant literature.
This research is concerned with the innate predispositions underlying human intentional communication. Human communication is currently defined as a circular and overt attempt to modify a partner's mental states. This requires each party involved to posse ss the ability to represent and understand the other's mental states, a capability which is commonly referred to as mindreading, or theory of mind (ToM). The relevant experimental literature agrees that no such capability is to be found in the human speci es at least (...) during the first year of life, and possibly later. This paper aims at advancing a solution to this theoretical problem. We propose to consider sharedness as the basis for intentional communication in the infant and to view it as a primitive, i nnate component of her cognitive architecture. Communication can then build upon the mental grounds that the infant takes as shared with her caregivers. We view this capability as a theory of mind in a weak sense.›. (shrink)
The feminist goal of challenging inequality requires distinctive methods such as combining social action with research and using participatory approaches. These methods strengthen scientific standards of good evidence and open debate, but they conflict with elitism and careerism in academia and hence are rarely used. Nonhierarchical structures must be created.
The paper aims to assess the theory of mind of sexual offenders. We administered to 21 sexual offenders and to 21 nonoffenders two classical first- and second-order ToM tasks, a selection of six Strange Stories, and a semi-structured interview, the Theory of Mind Assessment Scale , which provides a multi-dimensional evaluation of ToM, investigating first- vs. third-person and egocentric vs. allocentric perspectives. Results show that sexual offenders performed worse than controls on second-order ToM tasks, on Strange Stories and on each (...) of the Th.o.m.a.s dimensions, whereas they did as well as the control group on first-order ToM tasks. A detailed analysis of participants’ performance on Th.o.m.a.s. showed that sex offenders performed worse on the third-person than on the first-person ToM scale, and worse on the allocentric than on the egocentric perspective; these findings did not apply to the controls. Implications for future research and treatment are discussed. (shrink)
Throughout the twentieth century, women's magazines in the United States have socialized their readers to the “proper” expression of love and anger in marriage. Our analysis of a random sample of marital advice articles from 1900 to 1979 examines this cultural convergence of gender, marriage, and emotion. A qualitative analysis identifies techniques for socializing readers to the emotional culture of marriage and shows a historical change toward equating love with self-fulfillment and advocating the expression of anger. A quantitative analysis then (...) specifies the timing of changes in emotion norms and showed an oscillation between modern and traditional norms that is related to waves of political liberation versus oppression. We discuss the relation between emotion norms and behavior and explore the effect of group conflict on the production of emotional culture. Emotion norms have become less rigid and more tolerant of diversity; but gender differences persist, and women are still responsible for maintaining intimate relationships. Historical trends in love and anger norms are nonlinear, not a continuous shift toward individualism, self-development, and free expression, as suggested by recent cultural theories. (shrink)
Platonism, Ficino to Foucault explores some key chapters in the history Platonic philosophy from the revival of Plato in the fifteenth century to the new reading of Platonic dialogues promoted by the so-called ‘Critique of Modernity’.
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others.We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia and (...) a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R.The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM.Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
This commentary focuses on evidence from autism concerning the relation between metacognition and mindreading. We support Carruthers' rejection of models 1 (independent systems) and 3 (metacognition before mindreading), and provide evidence to strengthen his critique. However, we also present evidence from autism that we believe supports model 2 (one mechanism, two modes of access) over model 4 (mindreading is prior).