Novel affective theory of mind measures assessing simple versus complex emotions

Thumbnail Image
Di Nella, Michelle
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Theory of mind (ToM) refers to the capacity to recognize that individuals have mental states such as beliefs, perspectives, and emotions that guide their behaviour. The measures that are currently used to assess ToM are highly dependent upon linguistic skill, and typically ignore affective ToM. In the present study, two non-verbal affective ToM tasks were created. The Affective Visual Theory of Mind Task (AVToM) assessed the perception of emotions such as happy or sad, while the Emotional Narrative Task (ENT) assessed the ability to recognize the more complicated emotion of embarrassment. Participants also completed two established ToM assessments, thus allowing us to examine the relationships between the various ToM tasks. Positive correlations were found between some of the different ToM measures; importantly, these relationships were not mediated by verbal skill. However, the correlations between the measures were weak, suggesting that each task may be assessing different, but overlapping, components of ToM.
theory of mind, affective, emotion, non-verbal, language