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Theory of Mind

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

In developmental psychology, theory of mind (ToM) refers to the normative capacity for humans to understand the intentions of another person. With early aspects of ToM apparent in 3- to 4-year-olds, the mind begins to understand that one's own knowledge and intentions differ from those of other people. As ToM becomes more sophisticated as the child becomes increasingly social, this cognitive ability is the first step in associating personal characterizations of another person's self: their patterns of ...

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