‘Putting Ourselves in the Other Fellow’ s Shoes’ : The Role of ‘Theory of Mind’ in Solving Coordination Problems

in Journal of Cognition and Culture
No Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



How do people solve coordination problems? One possibility is that they use ‘ Theory of Mind’ to generate expectations about others’ behaviour. To test this, we investigate whether the ability to solve interpersonal coordination problems is associated with individual differences in ‘ Theory of Mind’ , as measured by a questionnaire addressing autistic-spectrum personality traits. The results suggest that successful coordination is associated with Theory-of-Mind function, but not with the non-social components of autistic personality (e.g., pattern detection, imagination). We discuss the implications of this finding for future research, and the assessment of autistic-spectrum presentations in adult populations.

‘Putting Ourselves in the Other Fellow’ s Shoes’ : The Role of ‘Theory of Mind’ in Solving Coordination Problems

in Journal of Cognition and Culture



ApperlyI. A.BackE.SamsonD.FranceL. The cost of thinking about false beliefs: Evidence from adult performance on a noninferential Theory of Mind task. Cognition 2008 106 1093 1108

AuyeungB.Baron-CohenS.WheelwrightS.AllisonC. The Autism Spectrum Quotient–Children’s Version (AQ-Child). Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders 2008 38 1230 1240

Baron-CohenS. Mindblindness: an essay on autism and Theory of Mind 1995 Cambridge, MA. MIT Press

Baron-CohenS.LeslieA. M.FrithU. ‘Does the autistic child have a “Theory of Mind”?’. Cognition 1985 21 37 40

Baron-CohenS.WheelwrightR.SkinnerJ. M.ClubleyE. The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) : Evidence from Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism, Males and Females, Scientists and Mathematicians. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders 2001 31 5 17

BegeerS.MalleB. F.NieuwlandM.KeysarB. Using Theory of Mind to represent and take part in social interactions: Comparing individuals with high-functioning autism and typically developing control European Journal of Developmental Psychology 2010 7 104 122

BergerP. L.LuckmannT. The Social Construction of Reality 1966 London Allen Lane, The Penguin Press

BirchS. A. J.BloomP. The curse of knowledge in reasoning about false beliefs Psychological Science 2007 18 382 386

BlomG. Statistical Estimates and Transformed Beta-Variables 1958 New York, NY. Wiley

BoyerP. Religion Explained: The human instincts that fashion gods spirits and ancestors. 2001 London Heinemann

ByrneR. W.WhitenA. Machiavellian Intelligence. Social expertise and the evolution of intellect in monkeys apes and humans 1988 Oxford Clarendon Press

ChweM. Rational ritual: Culture coordination and common knowledge 2001 Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press

CohenJ. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences 1988 2nd edn. Mahwah, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum

CosmidesL.ToobyJ. BussD. M. Neurocognitive adaptations designed for social exchange Evolutionary Psychology Handbook 2005 Hoboken, NJ. Wiley 584 627

DahlgrenS. O.TrillingsgaardA. Theory of Mind in non-retarded children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome: A research note Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 1996 37 759 763

DumontheilI.ApperlyI.BlakemoreS.-J. Online usage of Theory of Mind continues to develop in late adolescence Developmental Science 2010 13 331 338

DunbarR. I. M. The Social Brain Hypothesis Evolutionary Anthropology 1998 6 178 190

FrithU. Emanuel Miller lecture: Confusions and controversies about Asperger’s Syndrome Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2004 45 672 686

GermanT. P.HehmanJ. A. Representational and executive selection resources in ‘Theory of Mind’: Evidence from compromised belief-desire reasoning in old age Cognition 2006 101 129 152

GibbardA. Wise Choices Apt Feelings 1990 Oxford Clarendon Press

HappéF. G. E. An Advanced Test of Theory of Mind: Understanding of Story Characters’ Thoughts and Feelings by Able Autistic, Mentally Handicapped and Normal Children and Adults Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders 1994 24 129 154

KeysarB.BarrD. J.BalinJ. A.BraunerJ. S. Taking perspective in conversation: The role of mutual knowledge in comprehension Psychological Science 2000 11 32 38

KeysarB.LinS.BarrD. J. Limits on Theory of Mind use in adults Cognition 2003 89 25 41

Krych-ApplebaumM.LawJ.JonesD.BarnaczA.JohnsonA.KeenanJ. P. I think I know what you mean: the role of Theory of Mind in collaborative communication Interaction Studies 2007 8 267 280

LewisD. K. Convention: a philosophical study 1969 Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press

MehtaJ.StarmerC.SugdenR. The nature of salience: An experimental investigation of pure coordination games American Economic Review 1994 84 658 673

RuysK. I.AartsH. When competition merges people’s behavior: Interdepen-dency activates shared action representations Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2010 46 1130 1133

SchellingT. C. The strategy of conflict 1960 Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press

StewartM. E.AustinE. J. The structure of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ): Evidence from a student sample in Scotland Personality and Individual Differences 2009 47 224 228

TomaselloM.CarpenterM.CallJ.BehneT.MollH. Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2005 28 675 691

ToobyJ.CosmidesL. Baron-CohenS. Foreword Mindblindness: an essay on autism and Theory of Mind (1995) Cambridge, MA MIT Press xi xviii

YoungL.CushmanF. A.HauserM. D.SaxeR. The neural basis of the interaction between Theory of Mind and moral judgment Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007 104 8235 8240



Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 39 39 10
Full Text Views 102 102 38
PDF Downloads 7 7 3
EPUB Downloads 2 2 2