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The development of theory of mind in deaf people

Glenn , Sylvia (2007) The development of theory of mind in deaf people. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Several authors claim that deaf children with hearing parents do not' develop theory of mind (ToM) until adolescence, but this is largely based on false-belief studies. Peterson & Siegal's (2000) review of false-belief studies is updated and the section also reviews research using a wider range of methodologies with deaf children and adults. Deaf children have difficulties in false-belief, perspective-taking and emotional responses/reactions, but these skills may develop later. In contrast, deaf children do not appear to have deficits in mental-state attribution or emotional recognition. More research with deaf adults is needed. Section II: Research Report This study explores whether Deaf adults have impairments in ToM and empathy compared to hearing adults, and if Deaf forensic patients have further impairments. Tests were adapted and translated for the purpose of the study. The Deaf community scored lower than the hearing community on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test and produced fewer mental states. The Deaf forensic group was too small for reliable statistical analysis. Deafpeople may continue to have ToM impairments into adulthood, but the results could be due to methodological, linguistic and social factors. Assessments must be developed specifically for use with Deaf populations rather than relying on interpreted measures. Section III: Critical Appraisal This section gives a commentary, and personal reflections, on the project. The challenges faced during the progression through the thesis and of researching within the Deaf culture are explored. Methodological problems, clinical implications and areas for further research are discussed and key learning points are identified.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2012 11:19
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3085

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