Theory of Mind

  • The ability to attribute thoughts or mental states to others. Necessary to believe that others have beliefs, desires, perspectives, etc. that differ from one's own.
  • Crucial for social interactions, planning, etc.
  • Theory of mind is an important component of consciousness, because it implies self-awareness.
  • Learns and develops as you grow. Some conditions (autism) may impair this cognitive skill.
  • Necessary for [[!Empathy]]?
  • Debated whether animals can or do develop theory of mind (see Animal consciousness).
  • Not to be confused with the [[!Philosophy of Mind]]