Perspective-taking and social competence in adults

McGarry, Katharine A., West, Melanie and Hogan, Kevin Francis (2021) Perspective-taking and social competence in adults. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17 (2). pp. 129-135. ISSN 1895-1171

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Theory of mind (ToM) research assumes an idealized ability in adults (Begeer et al., 2010). Links between ToM and social skills are often presupposed and some researchers argue that claims about the relationship between the two are often broad and unjustified (Hughes & Leekam, 2004; Liddle & Nettle, 2006). Perspective-taking (PT) has been heavily implicated in social cognition (Ruby & Decety, 2004) and is commonly placed under the title of ToM (Baron-Cohen, 2000). However, it is suggested that ToM and PT are not the same skills and may in fact be two distinct forms of social cognition (Cutting & Dunn, 1999). The current study explored the relationship between PT and social skills within a typically developed adult population. Eighty participants completed the Social Skills Inventory (SSI, Riggio & Carney, 2003) in addition to a computerised PT task. Greater PT ability was associated with greater social ability. Expressivity and control scores were predicted by PT ability, indicating that greater PT ability is predictive of greater control skills and expressivity skills in individuals and vice versa. Greater emotional intelligence has been associated with superior PT ability and higher expressivity in individuals (Goleman, 1995; Schutte et al., 2001). We suggest that emotional intelligence could be contributing to the relationship between expressivity and PT. Additionally, as both control behaviors and PT abilities place a demand on cognitive resources (Richards & Gross, 2000; Surtees et al., 2016), we argue that the same executive processes are utilized in both abilities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: McGarry, Katharine A., West, Melanie and Hogan, Kevin F. (2021) 'Perspective-taking and social competence in adults', Advances in Cognitive Psychology, DOI: 10.5709/acp-0323-5.
Divisions: Faculty of of Arts, Society and Professional Studies > Department of Health and Behavioural Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Hazel Barham
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 16:09
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2021 16:09

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