Theory of mind - Deepstash





Why the Theory of Mind Is Important for Social Relationships

Theory of mind

This is a social-cognitive skill that relates to the ability to think about your own mental state and the mental states of other people.
It's called a theory because what we believe is going on with other people is just that - a theory.





Social Cognitive Theory
Social Cognitive Theory

It is a learning theory developed by Stanford psychologist Albert Bandura in the 60s/70s and provides an understanding of how people get influenced and in turn influence their environment.

Observational Learning

Behaviourist B.F. Skinner had theorized that learning can only be achieved by individual action.

Social Cognitive Theory, however, states that an individual can learn by observing and imitating models, grasping and reproducing the learning much faster.

Four Processes Of Observational Learning
  • Attentional: When people observe their model.
  • Retention: When the observed information is remembered.
  • Production: When the observed information is recalled and reconstructed later, producing a variation of the learned model.
  • Motivational: Depending on the feedback and the outcome, the individual is motivated or demotivated to produce the same.

Self-control, an ability to overcome your current state of want or desire, and appreciate the needs of your future self, is similar to the feelings of empathy and selflessness, which essentially is...

The Theory Of Mind
The Right Temporoparietal Junction part of our brain helps us think about other people, understanding their mental states. 
If this region is well developed and better connected to other parts of the brain, people behave altruistically and show less bias in their groups. If this region is impaired, people lose their sense of morality.

New studies about this region of the brain tell us that impulsivity and selfishness are linked, and are the opposite of restraint and empathy.
Delusional beliefs and madness
Delusional beliefs and madness
  • People with psychosis may believe the neighbours are poisoning them; they could believe colleagues have hired someone to kill them.
  • Psychiatrists define beliefs as delusion...
Delusional concerns tied to our social world

The focus on irrationality is missing the point. To label delusions as irrational means that all 'normal' cognition is rational, which is not true as our beliefs are disproportionately influenced by multiple factors.

A new theory suggests that we form delusions to help us understand and survive in our social environment. These processes allow us to live and cooperate with people by understanding their intentions.

Why people form delusional beliefs

Beliefs are formed in the first place to enable us to survive in our social environment, to cooperate with each other, and mutually reflect and solve problems. However, beliefs differ across social groups. For example, beliefs about the risk levels of specific activities during the pandemic vary greatly, such as the wearing of masks.

When we consider the social role of beliefs, we can better understand how delusions take shape. A person that has been repeatedly threatened may be wary of people in the future, even if it seems irrational.