Leipold, K., Vetter, N. C, Dittrich, M., Lehmann-Waffenschmidt, M. & Kliegel, M. (2013). Individual and developmental differences in the relationship between preferences and theory of mind. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics,6(4), 236-251. United States of America: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1037/npe0000008
Theory of mind and individual preferences are important determinants in social decision making. Using a large sample, this study examined whether being a cooperative preference type is related to better theory of mind skills. Furthermore, by testing adolescents and adults, we examined the impact of age on this relationship. Theory of mind is measured in a Public Goods Game. The results indicate that the cooperative type predicted other players’ preference types more accurately in the first round of the Public Goods Game. Regarding age differences, cooperative adults more accurately estimated the behavior of players of the same type compared with cooperative adolescents. Adolescents exhibited lower cooperation levels and a slower adaption of behavior than adults, indicating that theory of mind continues to develop throughout adolescence.
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