Innovations in Theory of Mind Assessment: The Theory of Mind Inventory-2

Friday, May 12, 2017: 5:00 PM-6:30 PM
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
T. L. Hutchins1 and P. A. Prelock2, (1)Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Vermont, Charlotte, VT, (2)College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Background: Traditional assessments of Theory of Mind (ToM) utilize direct measures of child performance and are plagued by ceiling effects (when mentalizing is relatively good), test-practice effects, and a child performance factors including language, motivation, attention, and memory. To complicate matters, significant disagreements and confusion in science are arising, not because people hold incommensurable world views, but because of the variable methodology and vague terminology that surround the construct of ToM.

Objectives: Develop two resources that can be used in research and clinical practice. These are 1) the Theory of Mind Inventory (ToMI-2; a reliable and valid caregiver broadband measure of ToM) and 2) the Theory of Mind Atlas (or encyclopedia) which is intended to map the broad and multifaceted construct of ToM.

Methods: Traditional norming and psychometric analyses were conducted to evaluate the reliability and validity of the ToMI-2. The development of the Theory of Mind Atlas was guided by a comprehensive review of of the vast theory of mind literature. The goal is to summarize the state of the knowledge for each ToM domain identified in typical development as well as ASD, ADHD, and oral or late-signing children with hearing loss.

Results: The ToMI-2 was normed on children ages 2-13 and performed extremely well on all tests of psychometric rigor (reliability, validity). The Theory of Mind Atlas is now available for free to all registered users of Theoryofmindinventory.com. By design, the atlas is constantly being updated to add content and reflect the most up-to-date evidence.

Conclusions: The ToMI-2 and the Theory of Mind Atlas represent important contributions in our efforts to improve the range of tools available for assessing and for understanding (and communicating about) theory of mind.