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Effects of Empathy and Emotion Recognition on Theory of Mind in Adolescences and Adults

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2020, 33(3), pp.115-138
  • DOI : 10.35574/KJDP.2020.9.33.3.115
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science
  • Received : January 15, 2020
  • Accepted : August 20, 2020
  • Published : September 15, 2020

Hye Jin Shim 1 So-Yeon Kim 1

1덕성여대 심리학과

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Theory of mind(ToM) is an ability to attribute intention, belief, and emotion of others to predict their behaviors. ToM begins with understanding of other’s intention in childhood and develops to more sophisticated forms such as inferring other’s emotions. In this study, we investigated development of two types of ToM (cognitive and affective ToM) in adolescents and adults. We also examined whether empathy and emotion recognition could explain development of cognitive and/or affective ToM. Results showed that accuracy of cognitive and affective ToM in adults were significantly higher than that of adolescents. Also, we found that cognitive empathy significantly explained cognitive ToM in adolescents in Study 1. In Study 2, we found that accuracy and sensitivity on a dynamic facial emotion recognition task significantly explained affective ToM in adolescents. Taken together, we demonstrated that both cognitive and affective ToM continue to develop from adolescences to adults. Further, we report a novel finding that both empathy and emotion recognition abilities are important factors to explain development of cognitive and affective ToM.

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