Theory of mind: a critical assessment

I. Leudar, Alan Costall, D. Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ‘Theory of Mind’ approach has been associated with probably the fastest-growing body of empirical research in psychology over the last 25 years, and has given rise to a range of different theoretical positions and elaborations within those positions. The basic idea is that understanding other people involves bridging a gulf between observed ‘behaviour’ and hidden mental states by means of a theory. The articles in this Special Issue subject ‘Theory of Mind’ to sustained critical scrutiny, and also present alternative accounts of how we make sense of—and make sense to—other people. They trace the historical sources of ‘Theory of Mind’, criticize its fundamental assumptions and favoured methods, and examine its applications to child development and the explanation of schizophrenia and autism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-578
Number of pages8
JournalTheory & Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


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