Theory of Mind in University Students with and Without Dsm-5 Diagnosis

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Spring 2015


This paper explores three measures of theory of mind (ToM) in university students with an identified form of mental illness/DSM-5 diagnosis identified by a licensed professional and who are receiving support services through Texas A&M University -Commerce compared to those without any identified psychopathology. ToM has been described as a person's understanding that others have an agenda during interpersonal interactions that is separate from oneself as well as a variety of emotional states (Baron-Cohen, Joffie, Mortimore, & Robertson, 1997; Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Hill, Raste, & Plumb, 2001; Golan, Baron-Cohen, Hill, & Rutherford, 2007; Rutherford, Baron-Cohen, & Wheelwright, 2002) that can be perceived or interpreted through "reading" facial expressions, eye to eye gaze, direction of eye gaze and eye related nonverbal communication, as well as vocal nuances such as inflection, tone, and volume, otherwise known as prosodic characteristics of speech (Baron-Cohen et al,.1997; Baron-Cohen et al., 2001; Golan, et al., 2007). Measures include the Revised Eyes test, Revised Faux Pas test, and Revised Reading the Mind in the Voice test - Akin version. Previous research has identified significant differences in correct identification of both basic and complex emotions between control groups or "normal" participants and those with either developmental disabilities or some other form of psychopathology/mental illness. This study was conducted with Qualtrics electronic survey software with all stimuli presented in an electronic format. Participants completed an informed consent, demographic form, and three ToM measures in a random order: Revised Eyes test, Revised Faux Pas test, and the Revised Reading the Mind in the Voice test - Akin version.


Steven E. Ball

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences