Street, Chris N. H., Bischof, Walter F. and Kingstone, Alan (2017) Perspective taking and theory of mind in hide and seek. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. ISSN 1943-393X

Does theory of mind play a significant role in where people choose to hide an item or where they search for an item that has been hidden? Adapting the "Hide-Find Paradigm" of Anderson et al. (2014), participants viewed homogenous or popout visual arrays on a touchscreen table. Their task was to indicate where in the array they would hide an item, or to search for an item that had been hidden, by either a friend or a foe. Critically, participants believed that their sitting location at the touchtable was the same as - or opposite to - their partner's location. Replicating Anderson et al. participants tended to (1) select items nearer to themselves on homogenous displays, and this bias was stronger for a friend than foe; and (2) select popout items, and again, more for a friend than foe. These biases were observed only when participants believed that they shared the same physical perspective as their partner. Collectively the data indicate that theory of mind plays a significant role in hiding and finding, and demonstrate that the hide-find paradigm is a powerful tool for investigating theory of mind in adults.

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