Theory of mind and executive functioning : Dual-task studies



Understanding the beliefs or feelings of another person, referred to as Theory of Mind, is an essential component of everyday social functioning. However, there is debate as to the true nature of tasks used to measure such skills, in particular, whether theory of mind skills are reliant upon executive function skills. Executive function skills include selectively attending to information, switching attention, and updating information in working memory. In the proposed series of experiments, dual-task methodology will be used to investigate whether loading different aspects of executive functioning (inhibition, flexible switching, and working memory updating) interferes with young adults ability to understand others theory of mind, using a number of theory of mind task. The results will have implications for current theories of the relation between executive functioning and theory of mind, and the measurement of these skills in healthy and neuropsychological populations.
Date made available29 Jan 2009
PublisherUK Data Service
Date of data production1 Jun 2004 - 30 Nov 2005

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • RES-000-22-0508

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