The ability to understand human action on the basis of beliefs, intentions, desires, and emotions, as well as the tendency to describe the world surrounding us in mentalistic terms, are the basic elements of the theory of mind. A child manages to understand why a schoolmate who has lost a toy cries and is sad precisely because she has a theory of mind. In recent years this concept has become increasingly important in the study of childhood social development. Research data concerning the formation of a theory of mind among humans bring into play the use of psychological concepts in everyday language and life. The authors of this volume present a detailed and easy-to-understand account of the theoretical bases, research findings, and the origins of the development of the theory of mind among children. The text manages to be original yet informative and instructive, thus helping the reader to better comprehend a fundamental element of cognitive and emotional development in both childhood and adulthood.
Contents: Introduction - 1. The Theory of Mind - 2. The Psychological Lexicon: The Theory of Mind in Everyday Life - 3. Learning Psychological Lexicon - 4. Research Developments and Potential Applications - 5. Methods for the Study of the Psychological Lexicon - Bibliographical References - Index
Serena Lecce teaches Fundamentals of Social Psychology at the University of Pavia.
Adriano Pagnin teaches Fundamentals of Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Development Psychology, and Psychology of Adolescence at the University of Pavia.