Theory of Mind

Theory of mind is awareness that other people have different thoughts and
minds to you. When referring to theory of mind we look at how someone’s
ability to understand their mental states of desires, beliefs, thoughts,
etc. When a child has developed their theory of mind they are able to
understand others have different thoughts, can recognise what others are
feeling and seeing. Children also begin to utilise their theory of mind in
everyday life, such as a child stating they wanted to go outside, where
they have used the mental state of knowing what they want. Theory of mind
is of interest to early childhood, as we are not born with theory of mind
we grow to develop it. Early childhood especially around the ages 3-5 is
when most children develop their theory of mind, however if children are
given opportunities earlier on about mental states they will develop their
theory of mind earlier. Many research completed on theory of mind looks at
how we begin to understand and utilise theory of mind, below is how some
research has used different approaches to examining theory of mind.
Research study completed by Grazzani and Ornaghi (2012), investigates the
relationship between mental-state language and theory of mind in primary
school children. They also explore the link between use and comprehension
of mental state language on one hand, and epistemic and emotional theory of
mind on the other hand. For the study primary school children aged 8-11
years were participants. Of the participants there was 55 boys and 55
girls, 49 of the children were in grade three and 61 of the children were
in fifth grade. The children came from two state primary schools located in
middle class urban districts of Northern Italy. The study examined verbal
ability, test of emotional comprehension, false belief battery, test of
metacognitive and metalinguistic verb comprehension, describe a friend
task, and use of…

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