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AllieKat
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30 Apr 2011, 4:10 am

I have a question about this "Theory of Mind" or thinking about what others are thinking. When I was a kid, I remember taking IQ tests but was never tested on theory of mind. I now know that kids sometimes tested for AS by comparing their IQ score to the performance on "false belief" tests like the Sally-Anne test (see http://www.asperger-advice.com/sally-and-anne.html for a description or click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjkTQtggLH4 for a video demo).

Most people with AS pass the simple false beliefs tests like the ones above after the age of 11 or 12 (NT kids without any intellectual impairments usually pass them by age 5 though). I would imagine the vast, vast majority of AS adults pass the Sally Anne test right? My question is; are there any more advanced type theory of mind type tests for adults that measure "what he's thinking about what she's thinking about what their thinking" at a level that's expected for NT adolescents and adults that most AS adults fail? I'm trying to find one to challenge myself.


Thanks,

Allie Kat



Last edited by AllieKat on 01 May 2011, 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

whalewatcher
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30 Apr 2011, 9:16 am

I'm sure I could have worked out the Sally-Anne test at a very young age. I would have seen it as a picture and worked out the viewing angles etc.

However, I think I would have believed that the person giving me the test could see the picture in my mind. I would get very anxious about that, because it might not be the right picture.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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01 May 2011, 2:37 am

Try googling "higher order theory of mind" -- "higher order" is the usual term I've seen for what you're talking about.



swbluto
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01 May 2011, 2:53 am

Interesting. It seems that once you get the "basics" down as far as the theory of mind (Which it appears many aspergers adults do?), the limiting factor at an adult level becomes the complexity you're able to handle, and this probably would more relate to working memory (Or possibly IQ.). So, it seems like any such test wouldn't be that discriminative at the adult level, unless there were increasingly nuanced and sophisticated mental states that adults possessed.

Which might exist... I still think adults are pretty emotionally simple creatures, though. (That could just be my lack of insight speaking, lol.)



peterd
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01 May 2011, 4:29 am

It's usually possible to learn tests: the thing about theory of mind for NTs is that it takes shape early, and forms the foundation for all later social learning. It's based, as far as I can see, on picking up non-verbal signals from other people and responding to them fast - faster than we can, inside the 500ms sort of interval that elapses while the signal gets to where we can think about them



swbluto
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01 May 2011, 10:04 am

peterd wrote:
It's usually possible to learn tests: the thing about theory of mind for NTs is that it takes shape early, and forms the foundation for all later social learning. It's based, as far as I can see, on picking up non-verbal signals from other people and responding to them fast - faster than we can, inside the 500ms sort of interval that elapses while the signal gets to where we can think about them


So, an effective "adult test" might measure how quickly and accurately one can guess the mental state of another. That'd be interesting to test, although I'm not entirely sure how you'd reliably measure how quickly one interprets those non-verbal signals since normal NT functioning does it at, practically, lightning speed and any way to indicate understanding would add a significant amount of time to the measurement.

Anyways, I did the googling and found the following WP link: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt149125.html

It includes a test on "4th order" and above.



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01 May 2011, 12:50 pm

Some people use the "Mind in the Eyes" test for some reason, but it seems like more of test of the test taker's ability to read eyes then figure out what another person but be thinking because people can use other clues like tone of voice as well. I am use tone of voice a lot and the WHOLE face (not just the eyes) to work out people's emotions.


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marshall
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01 May 2011, 1:03 pm

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Try googling "higher order theory of mind" -- "higher order" is the usual term I've seen for what you're talking about.

The problem with those "higher order theory of mind" tests is they get overly complicated to the point where you aren't testing theory of mind so much as the ability to parse out complicated grammatical constructions. Then it becomes more a test of reading comprehension and working memory which people on the spectrum might fail at for reasons other than theory of mind deficits.



marshall
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01 May 2011, 1:13 pm

ocdgirl123 wrote:
Some people use the "Mind in the Eyes" test for some reason, but it seems like more of test of the test taker's ability to read eyes then figure out what another person but be thinking because people can use other clues like tone of voice as well. I am use tone of voice a lot and the WHOLE face (not just the eyes) to work out people's emotions.

I'd say that one really isn't a test of theory of mind either. It seems to test expressive recognition in the eyes and also understanding of nuanced emotions. True theory of mind has to have some kind of additional dimension that goes beyond simply interpreting facial expressions. After all, there is a lot more to a person's mental state than what can be gleaned from a facial expressions. You have to take into account and apply a lot of additional information cues to truly recognize the beliefs and intentions of others.



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01 May 2011, 1:58 pm

there are loads of tests on the university of cambridge ARC site. (google it dont have link to hand)

There is one about false belief designed for adults there



swbluto
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01 May 2011, 4:01 pm

Moopants wrote:
there are loads of tests on the university of cambridge ARC site. (google it dont have link to hand)

There is one about false belief designed for adults there


http://www.autismresearchcentre.com/tests/default.asp - I can't seem to immediately find the "False Belief" test that was mentioned.



AllieKat
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01 May 2011, 5:31 pm

Thanks for the information: I looked at the links and some of the questions were a bit overwhelming for me. I had no problem with second and third order theory of mind but had a very difficult time with the fourth order but I don't know if it's because of my AS or just keeping track of all that information.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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01 May 2011, 5:43 pm

marshall wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Try googling "higher order theory of mind" -- "higher order" is the usual term I've seen for what you're talking about.

The problem with those "higher order theory of mind" tests is they get overly complicated to the point where you aren't testing theory of mind so much as the ability to parse out complicated grammatical constructions. Then it becomes more a test of reading comprehension and working memory which people on the spectrum might fail at for reasons other than theory of mind deficits.


I agree -- those questions seem more like verbal IQ test questions than anything else. My short-term memory is so bad I can't do many of the higher order ones on that basis alone.



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01 May 2011, 6:13 pm

I have to draw diagrams.



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01 May 2011, 6:15 pm

A few years back I would have failed the Sally Anne test. It depends what mood I'm in and just how well my brain is performing. I've read about the Sally Anne test a lot so of course by now I would know how to do it right.


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