[PS-1.11] Theory of the Mind in deaf adults with different communicative modalities: pilot study

Garcia Alegre, P. & Valero-Garcia, J.

FPCEE Blanquerna. Universitat Ramon Llull

The Theory of Mind -ToM- is used by psychologists to determine the capacity of attributing thoughts and intentions to other people. When being intelligent, a subject is endorsed with the ToM and able to understand and ponder about the mental state of oneself and others around.

The aim of this study is to analyze the scale of acquisition of the ToM in deaf adult people, considering their way of communication.

12 subjects have taken part of the study, divided in three different groups: 4 hearing adults (average age = 38 years); 4 oral deaf adults (average age = 44 years); and 4 deaf signers (average age of 43 years). The range of study level of the participants goes from Primary education to university degree.

Participants took the The Eyes Test (Baron-Cohen, 2001) and the tasks from Happé, Winner & Brownell (1998) adapted in oral language or sign language, depending on the communicative modality.

The results show significant differences between the groups in their competence in ToM. Above the subgroups of deaf people there are also some differences, being the dominance of the linguistic code applied or the specific vocabulary used, a determinant cause for the obtainment of these results.