Stages of the Theory of mind

  1. The understanding that the reasons why people might want something may differ from one person to the next.
  2. The understanding that people can have different beliefs about the same thing or situation.
  3. The understanding that people may not comprehend or have the knowledge that something is true.
  4. The understanding that people can hold false beliefs about the world.
  5. The understanding that people can have hidden emotions, or that they may act one way while feeling another way.

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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.

In our daily interactions with other people, it is important to be able to understand their mental states and to think about how those mental states might influence their actions.
The theory of the mind helps us understand how people think, predict their behavior and solve interpersonal conflicts.

Theory of mind skills tend to improve progressively and sequentially with age.

Theory of mind develops as children gain greater experience with social interactions, by playing, pretending, stories, and relationships with parents.

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  • 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.

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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.

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.

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