What Do Psychologists Mean by Theory of Mind

What do psychologists mean by ‘theory of mind’? Discuss the claim that theory of mind is an evolved adaptation.
Notes for Option A of TMA 02
This question is in two parts and it is important that you answer both parts. The first part of the question requires you to describe what psychologists mean by ‘theory of mind’. To do this you will need to understand what theory of mind is and be able to describe it in your own words. The second part asks you to discuss the claim made by evolutionary psychologists that theory of mind is an adaptation (i.e. that it is a feature that has evolved because it led to improved survival and/or reproductive success). This requires more than understanding what psychologists mean by theory of mind. It also means using your own words to discuss a claim made by evolutionary psychologists. Namely, the claim that the existence of theory of mind can be explained by way of evolutionary processes (i.e. that it is an evolved adaptation).
Process words
In this question the process word is discuss. Appendix 1 of the Workbook (available under ‘Self-help and useful links’ in the ‘Resources’ section of the DSE212 website) tells you that discuss means ‘explain, then give two sides of the issue and any implications’. Therefore, using your own words, you should discuss the different views on whether theory of mind is an evolved adaptation or not by drawing upon relevant evidence/arguments presented in Chapter 2. You need to describe in detail how theory of mind may have evolved and why possession of that ability might better fit an individual to live in a particular environment. Before discussing the claim, you will need to describe what psychologists mean by theory of mind.
Relevant material
Section 3 of Chapter 2 defines theory of mind and describes studies which explore whether it might be an adaptation. Section 2 deals with evolutionary processes, including a part on natural selection in which the concept of adaptation is defined and...