Theory of Mind in Neurotypical College Students

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Fall 2013


The purpose of this study was to examine theory of mind abilities in neurotypical college students to identify correlations between levels of masochism and demonstrated theory of mind abilities. Participants, including 61 undergraduate students taking psychology courses, completed a brief intelligence test, a brief personality measure (the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, Third Edition, MCMI-III), a measure of theory of mind (ToM), and they provided demographic information relating to current academic major, grade point average, personal history regarding attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, dyslexia, specific learning disability, or autism spectrum disorders. No significant correlations emerged between neurotypical students' personality and pathology scores and their scores on the theory of mind task. However, self-defeating behavior (Scale 8 on the MCMI-III), elevated levels of antisocial behavior (Scale 6A), sadistic behaviors (Scale 6B), alcohol dependence (Scale B), and drug dependence (i.e., Scale T), showed significant negative correlations with ToM abilities.


Steven Ball

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences