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From Self to Social Cognition: Theory of Mind and Executive Functioning

Bradford, Elisabeth E.F., Jentzsch, Ines, Gomez, Juan-Carlos (2014) From Self to Social Cognition: Theory of Mind and Executive Functioning. In: Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) Conference, March 2014, Boston, MA, USA. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

‘Theory of Mind’ refers to the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and other people (Premack & Woodruff, 1978). This study examined the extent to which ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ belief-attribution processes within the Theory of Mind (ToM) mechanism could be distinguished behaviourally, and whether these separable components differentially related to Executive Functioning (EF) abilities. A computerized false-belief task was utilized to assess ToM, and a face-image Stroop task was employed to assess EF, within a population of typically-developed adults. Results revealed significantly longer reaction times when attributing beliefs to other people as opposed to recognizing and attributing beliefs to oneself. Intriguingly, results revealed that ‘perspective-shift’ requirements (i.e. changing from adoption of the ‘self’ perspective to the perspective of the ‘other’, or vice versus) across false-belief trials influenced reaction times. When the perspective shift was from self-to-other, reaction times were significantly longer than when they were from other-to-self. It is suggested that the ‘self’ forms the stem of understanding the ‘other’, and is therefore processed regardless of ultimate task demands; in contrast, the ‘other’ perspective is only processed when explicitly required. Two Stroop scores (emotion-recognition and gender-recognition) were calculated. Affective Stroop scores positively correlated with performance on the ToM task, whilst non-affective Stroop scores negatively correlated with ToM task performance. Results indicate that adopting another person’s perspective, even when their belief state is matched to one’s own, requires more cognitive effort, as indicated through longer reaction times, than recalling and reflecting on self-oriented belief-states.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Poster)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Lizzie Bradford
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 15:48 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:15 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/62432 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bradford, Elisabeth E.F.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7647-0891
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