Understanding Actions & Intentions: An Insight into Theory of Mind

*, Sudhin Karuppali and Bhat, Jayashree S. (2011) Understanding Actions & Intentions: An Insight into Theory of Mind. International Conference on Languages, Literature and Linguistics, 26. pp. 1-5.

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The ability to understand another person’s action and, if needed, imitate that action, is a core component of human social behaviour which can be observed even in young children. Action understanding studies focus on the aspect of interpreting a person’s intention thereby giving insights into their theory of mind (ToM) abilities. This principle is the motivation behind this study. Typically developing children between the ages of 4 and 15 years were taken up for the study. The experiment consisted of two tasks. Task 1 consisted of 12 target stimuli which consisted of a picture with a concealed action. High resolution photographs were taken of hand gestures that were appropriate for the target picture with other unrelated gesture. In task 2, four stories were selected to check the ToM abilities of the children. Both the stimuli were shown to children and the results were tabulated and analyzed using SPSS (11.5). The results revealed a linear progression in the mean standard scores of children in the action-intention scores and also a significant progression in the ToM skills. A positive correlation also existed between action-intention recognition and ToM skills. Our study, thus suggests that understanding actions and intentions are the basis of theory of mind research. This study also throws light on the non-linguistic communicative patterns of children. Future studies are to be done in clinical populations on this aspect, which may pave the way to new therapeutic approaches/strategies for children with communicative disabilities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: action, intention, ToM, gestures
Subjects: Allied Health > Mangalore Campus > Speech and Hearing
Depositing User: KMCMLR User
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2013 05:17
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2013 05:17
URI: http://eprints.manipal.edu/id/eprint/77905

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