Journal Article

Theory of Mind in Deaf Adults and the Organization of Verbs of Knowing

M. Diane Clark, Paula J. Schwanenflugel, Victoria S. Everhart and Maria Bartini

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 1, issue 3, pages 179-189
Published in print January 1996 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online January 1996 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.deafed.a014293
Theory of Mind in Deaf Adults and the Organization of Verbs of Knowing

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Naive theories of mind provide an organizing scheme for concept formation and categorization. Additionally, they highlight what is important within a domain. This study investigated how deaf adults with hearing parents organize 17 cognitive verbs of knowing as a way of describing their naive theory of mind. Deaf adults rated on a 1 to 7 scale the similarity of pairs of cognitive verbs in terms of whether “the words are alike or different based on how you would use your mind when you do that mental activity.” We directly compared the similarity of cognitive verbs in these deaf adults with data collected in earlier research describing the organization of cognitive verbs in hearing adults. We conducted multidimensional scaling, additive similarity tree, and Pathfinder analyses to assess global, categorical, and local relations in the domain. Deaf adults' theory of mind revealed a distinction among mental verbs in terms of information-processing components and constructive certainty components. In all analyses, the deaf group showed a very similar organization to that of hearing adults examined in previous research. We conclude that, although deaf adults might be expected to view cognitive processes differently than hearing adults, they nonetheless exhibit a theory of mind that is highly similar to that of hearing adults.

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Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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