Volume 8 Num. 3 - October 2008
A Behavior Analytic Interpretation of Theory of Mind
Volume 8 Num. 3 - October 2008 - Pages 335-350
Joseph E. Spradlin , Nancy Brady
The inference that others are subject to private events is almost universal among humans.
Since no one has direct access to another person?s private events, we have proposed this
inference occurs because of: 1) The almost simultaneous occurrence a child?s private kinesthetic
stimuli and the visual stimuli produced by another person?s motor act during imitation of
motor acts; 2) The similarity between the child?s vocal behavior and that of another person
during vocal imitation; and 3) The stimulus equivalence that occurs when the child?s
behavior and similar behavior of others are given the same name. We have proposed that
perspective taking is a very common activity in our daily lives and that performance on
false belief tests is a special case of perspective taking. In our analysis of the prerequisites
for successful predictions on false belief tests we have considered false belief tests as
primarily predictions concerning the behavior of others in situations in which discriminative
stimuli are available to the child being tested and not to the protagonist about whom the
child is to make a prediction. Predictions about other?s behavior are made on the basis of
three types of prior observations and descriptions: (a) observation and descriptions of the
behavior of a specific individual in similar situations; (b) observation and descriptions of
the behavior of many different people in similar situations; and (c) observation and descriptions of one?s own behavior in similar situations. Success on the false belief tests necessitates discrimination between the stimuli available to the child and those available to the protagonist.
perspective taking, false beliefs, private events, imitation, children with disabilities.
More articles in this volume
- [275-276] Presentation of the Series Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the book, Verbal Behavior, B.F. Skinner
- [277-285] Skinner?s Verbal Behavior In a New Century
- [279-285] An Orderly Arrangement of Well-Known Facts: Retrospective Review of B. F. Skinner?s Verbal Behavior
- [287-294] Skinner?s Verbal Behavior
- [295-307] On Skinner?s Definition of Verbal Behavior
- [309-322] Conditioning the Behavior of the Listener
- [323-334] Verbal Behavior of BF Skinner: a retrospective analysis
- [351-362] Language Is Complex
- [363-386] The Ontogenetic Selection of Verbal Capabilities: Contributions of Skinner?s Verbal Behavior Theory to a More Comprehensive Understanding of Language
- [387-399] Cognitive distortions and treatment success in pathological gambling
- [401-412] Learning strategies and academic achievement of university students
- [413-430] A Proposal to Measure a Modulator of the Experience of Enjoyment: The Gaudiebility Scale
- [431-440] Aggressiveness and coping in adolescence. An intercultural perspective.
- [441-452] Effects of an intervention program for improving social competence among Primary Education students from Bolivia.