You are here

Theory of mind

18 November, 2015 - 17:13
Available under Creative Commons-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Download for free at

Theoryofmind(often abbreviated "ToM") is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from one's own. (Premack, D. G.; Woodruff, G. (1978)).

In my view, ToM relates significantly to how emotional people and their thoughts are. If someone's actions are being guided by beliefs and desires (a 'mentalizer'), then it makes sense that their understanding and assessments of other people and themselves are going to be influenced by beliefs and desires. If someone has greater desires when making assessments (so the emotion would be related to their thoughts) would they be a more emotional person? Someone might be capable of thinking non-emotionally, even if they have greater desires and beliefs, though I would think that in general someone with more emotional thoughts would be a more emotional person. It probably depends what they are more emotional about, etc.