Mentalization in Communicatice and Socio-Relational Interactions: Considerations about a Theory-of-Mind Modelling

Davide Massaro, Ilaria Castelli


Theory of Mind is an important and fundamental competence to manage relationship and communication in a socially functional way. Over the past twenty years researchers have been focusing on the development of this ability, on one hand considering childhood as the peculiar life-age for the acquisition of this competence and, on the other hand, assuming that adults should be able to use theory of mind in a "full-performing" manner. However, several studies found out that theory-of-mind functioning in real-life conditions is not independent from socio-relational, affective and linguistic abilities; moreover theory of mind in adults often does not work at an optimal level. This contribution presents a model for the theory-of-mind functioning: the aim is to offer a new possible framework to re-think the way adults use their ability of mentalization into the communicative and socio-relational interactions.


Theory of Mind; communication; language; socio-relational interactions

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896