A fundamental claim of current research into autism is that people with autism lack a theory of mind. This means that they are unable to understand the links between the beliefs of other people and their behaviour and to predict what others will do.
This in turn raises a number of questions.
How does an understanding of the development of a child’s sense of self and theory of mind help us to understand autism?
Are people born without the ability to develop a theory of mind?
Can a theory of mind be taught?
What does the theory of mind tell us about how we learn?
The following sources deal with these questions.
TED Talk by Simon Baron-Cohen – The Erosion Of Empathy
Simon Baron-Cohen Wired Lecture
ABC AITM Autism Programme
You can find these sources in my PSYA3 Dropbox folder and iTunesU course. You can use other sources if you like. You can post your answers to these questions on the blog, email them to me or simply bring them as notes to the lesson.