Does everyone with ASD have theory of mind issues?

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starfox
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12 Jun 2015, 3:12 pm

Does everyone with ASD have a poorer theory of mind? How do professionals actually tell this? I thought it would apply to literally everybody because nobody can read others thoughts. 'Normal' people make social mistakes too from misreading situations.

What's the purpose of theory of mind? :-/

Thanx guys for reading!


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Joe90
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12 Jun 2015, 4:03 pm

I actually don't have theory of mind issues, and I have ASD.

And you're right - NT people make mistakes too. Some NTs have better theory of mind than others.

But I suppose the ASD people who have theory of mind issues lack it enough that it makes a lot of social interaction types difficult in everyday situations.

But NTs don't get it "right" every time either. But neurology is a very complex thing, and I'm no psychology expert so I probably haven't explained it that clearly, but that is what it seems to me.


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olympiadis
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12 Jun 2015, 5:26 pm

Mine is not severe enough that everyone would notice.
It's enough to cause me problems, but it's usually subtle.
I can pass the TOM test.



Jensen
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13 Jun 2015, 1:24 pm

So can I. The problems occur, when more people are present and the interaction goes fast. I often miss subtleties and what´s going on and why. I may even not have the same reference.


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ASPartOfMe
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13 Jun 2015, 1:46 pm

Do I have TOM issues? yes, how severe? I don't know what I don't know :lol:


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Rocket123
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13 Jun 2015, 1:59 pm

I have no idea if I have TOM issues.



starfox
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13 Jun 2015, 2:24 pm

Hm apparently I have some TOM issues but I'm not sure how the person who diagnosed me would know. He spoke to me and my family but didn't do any tests or anything.


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Marybird
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13 Jun 2015, 2:36 pm

ToM is not about reading peoples minds. Nobody can read minds unless they're psychic if there is such a thing.
ToM is making a theory in your own mind of what someone might be thinking or what their intentions are or what is in their mind.
If you don't do this when you are talking to someone you can seem very naïve and get taken advantage of.
You might believe everything someone tells you without questioning it or what their motives are.



Marybird
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13 Jun 2015, 3:15 pm

When I watch movies I can see where people are interacting and are always quick to tell someone off or put down what the other is saying.
I don't do that. I take what people are saying literally and don't question things.
Looking back at my past I can see how people have used me or made fun of me for being that way.



starfox
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13 Jun 2015, 3:37 pm

Marybird wrote:
ToM is not about reading peoples minds. Nobody can read minds unless they're psychic if there is such a thing.
ToM is making a theory in your own mind of what someone might be thinking or what their intentions are or what is in their mind.
If you don't do this when you are talking to someone you can seem very naïve and get taken advantage of.
You might believe everything someone tells you without questioning it or what their motives are.


Ah well I would say I'm the opposite. Nobody would take advantage of me because I don't allow that. If I can't work out someone's intentions then I won't just listen to them and hope they're telling the truth to me.


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Joe90
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13 Jun 2015, 3:41 pm

I can't seem to be used by people. When I feel I am being used by a fair-weather friend (is that the right spelling?), I would pick up on it and back away, and then that person would get mad because they found they can't use me like they thought they could, and then they suddenly dislike me and never want to be my friend again.

If I want to be used, then I will. I will be aware of it, but if I'm happy about it then I will let them continue, even if I know it's wrong. If I really don't want to be used, then I will back out straight away. And I don't believe everything people say either. In fact, I found that I am very good at sussing people's intentions out, and whether they are lying or not, and why they would lie about it, and what I should and shouldn't say, and how I can manipulate the situation by choosing to either act naive and play along, or to actually catch them out. I usually just play along, to avoid conflict, but if I feel I really should let them know that I'm not as stupid as I look, then I will, in a polite sugarcoated way, of course. I am not the type to be blunt with people. I find that too awkward.

Most social cues I understand. I know and understand why a lot of people lie in certain situations, and how emotions affect people, and how people treat each other depending on their relationship or a situation etc, and how and why people gossip, and what you should and shouldn't say to people and so on. Most Aspies just think that the best thing to do is be blunt about everything, and that's OK if you don't feel guilty or awkward around people. I sometimes I feel like I work differently than other Aspies. My NT boyfriend often tells me to think logically, because I do seem to think more irrationally and I think in emotions.


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mpe
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13 Jun 2015, 4:01 pm

Marybird wrote:
ToM is not about reading peoples minds. Nobody can read minds unless they're psychic if there is such a thing.
ToM is making a theory in your own mind of what someone might be thinking or what their intentions are or what is in their mind.
If you don't do this when you are talking to someone you can seem very naïve and get taken advantage of.

Tests tend to involve comprehension of a piece of literature.
Rather than a 'live' conversation.



Marybird
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13 Jun 2015, 4:37 pm

mpe wrote:
Marybird wrote:
ToM is not about reading peoples minds. Nobody can read minds unless they're psychic if there is such a thing.
ToM is making a theory in your own mind of what someone might be thinking or what their intentions are or what is in their mind.
If you don't do this when you are talking to someone you can seem very naïve and get taken advantage of.

Tests tend to involve comprehension of a piece of literature.
Rather than a 'live' conversation.

I think it is more difficult in an actual interaction.
With literature you could always work things out in retrospect.
with an actual interaction you might think about it afterwards and figure out that you missed something.
I don't think about people's thoughts, motives, intentions in real time.
I don't know why, maybe it's too overwhelming and I can't process everything in the moment, or I'm just not inclined to think about those things.



dougknowles
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13 Jun 2015, 4:46 pm

When I reflect later and figure out afterwards that I missed something, the communication I had with the other individual is already history. My inaccuracies and insufficiency in that conversation have almost always modified my relationship with that other person. And it can be quite challenging to go back and repair any damage that has been done.



Marybird
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13 Jun 2015, 4:56 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Most Aspies just think that the best thing to do is be blunt about everything,.


The reason for aspies being blunt is not because they think it's the best thing to do.
It's likely to have to do with being literally minded and not having good ToM.
I's not a choice, but something one has to learn not to do.



starfox
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13 Jun 2015, 5:38 pm

I think I'm quite similar to you Joe90; except that I'm not very tactful and tend to be blunt. Usually I don't know though until I'm told off for it :-/


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