Why are there limits on theory of mind use? Evidence from adults' ability to follow instructions from an ignorant speaker

Apperly, Ian A, Carroll, Daniel J, Samson, Dana, Humphreys, Glyn W, Qureshi, Adam and Moffitt, Graham (2010) Why are there limits on theory of mind use? Evidence from adults' ability to follow instructions from an ignorant speaker. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63 (6). pp. 1201-1217. ISSN 1747-0218 DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17470210903281582

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Abstract

Keysar et al. (Keysar, Barr, Balin, & Brauner, 2000; Keysar, Lin, & Barr, 2003) report that adults frequently failed to use their conceptual competence for theory of mind (ToM) in an online communication game where they needed to take account of a speaker’s perspective. The current research reports 3 experiments investigating the cognitive processes contributing to adults’ errors. In Experiments 1 and 2 the frequency of adults’ failure to use ToM was unaffected by perspective switching. In Experiment 3 adults made more errors when interpreting instructions according to the speaker’s perspective than according to an arbitrary rule. We suggest that adults are efficient at switching perspectives, but that actually using what another person knows to interpret what they say is relatively inefficient, giving rise to egocentric errors during communication.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2013 10:49
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/5437

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