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‘Putting Ourselves in the Other Fellow’ s Shoes’ : The Role of ‘Theory of Mind’ in Solving Coordination Problems

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AbstractHow do people solve coordination problems? One possibility is that they use ‘ Theory of Mind’ to generate expectations about others’ behaviour. To test this, we investigate whether the ability to solve interpersonal coordination problems is associated with individual differences in ‘ Theory of Mind’ , as measured by a questionnaire addressing autistic-spectrum personality traits. The results suggest that successful coordination is associated with Theory-of-Mind function, but not with the non-social components of autistic personality (e.g., pattern detection, imagination). We discuss the implications of this finding for future research, and the assessment of autistic-spectrum presentations in adult populations.

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