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Theory-of-Mind Continuum Model: Why Mind Matters in Philosophy, Psychology and Education

Hwang, Yoon-Suk, Evans, David, & MacKenzie, Jim (2007) Theory-of-Mind Continuum Model: Why Mind Matters in Philosophy, Psychology and Education. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 2(3), pp. 249-258.

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Abstract

Theory-of-Mind has been defined as the ability to explain and predict human behaviour by imputing mental states, such as attention, intention, desire, emotion, perception and belief, to the self and others (Astington & Barriault, 2001). Theory-of-Mind study began with Piaget and continued through a tradition of meta-cognitive research projects (Flavell, 2004). A study by Baron-Cohen, Leslie and Frith (1985) of Theory-of-Mind abilities in atypically developing children reported major difficulties experienced by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in imputing mental states to others. Since then, a wide range of follow-up research has been conducted to confirm these results. Traditional Theory-of-Mind research on ASD has been based on an either-or assumption that Theory-of-Mind is something one either possesses or does not. However, this approach fails to take account of how the ASD population themselves experience Theory-of-Mind. This paper suggests an alternative approach, Theory-of-Mind continuum model, to understand the Theory-of-Mind experience of people with ASD. The Theory-of-Mind continuum model will be developed through a comparison of subjective and objective aspects of mind, and phenomenal and psychological concepts of mind. This paper will demonstrate the importance of balancing qualitative and quantitative research methods in investigating the minds of people with ASD. It will enrich our theoretical understanding of Theory-of-Mind, as well as contain methodological implications for further studies in Theory-of-Mind

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 34095
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Phenomenal Mind, Ontology, Epstemology, Special Education, Theory-of-mind, Developmental Psychology
ISSN: 1833-1882
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 10 Aug 2010 14:12
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2010 22:27

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