Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Adam S. Cohen


Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to infer mental states. The purpose of Study 1 was to reduce performance demands on a ToM test for forty (22 females) children (M age = 4.604; SD age = 1.128). Here, a low-uncertainty condition included a behaviour repetition manipulation, intended to increase success rate—but results did not confirm our hypothesis. Potential reasons for the results of Study 1 are discussed and tested in Study 2. The purpose of Study 2 was to determine the mechanism by which ToM operates in fifty-seven (26 females) adult participants (M age = 20.632; SD age = 3.368) by altering informational richness more directly. Results of Study 2 confirm that the mechanism by which ToM operates is via uncertainty reduction. These data motivate Study 3 in which child-appropriate vignettes will be used to address the limitations of Study 1 and implement the design of Study 2.