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Aspects of the Theory of Mind

The notion of the theory of mind, while presupposing that every person’s decision is attributed to a certain mental state, provides people with the ability to understand others. Thus, for example, when one person’s decisions are motivated by the mental states of desire or belief, this person tends to project the same mental states onto others. Once there is a discrepancy in the mental states, that is, people’s mental justifications, societal issues arise, as people cannot reach a consensus in terms of perceiving the notions of economic and socio-cultural equality.

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The theory of mind, in the best-case scenario, allows people to develop a high level of empathy and account for the feelings and mental states of other people. Similarly, the theory of moral development, as far as conventional and post-conventional stages are concerned, helps people perceive their environment as a unified social system that should be driven by certain ethical regulations. As a result, accounting for the feelings of others while creating regulations and ethical principles that ensure equality and respect may help bridge the opportunity gap.

To motivate people and call them to action, it is crucial to understand what mental states drive people’s decision-making. For example, if a friend engaged in voluntary work wants their other friend to join, they should not suggest joining right away, as the other person is likely to expect the persuasion. On the contrary, when inviting everyone but them, the person will become invested in the process and may come forward and ask about the voluntary work.

The theory of mind is explicitly correlated with the notion of emotional intelligence. EI stands for perception and acknowledgment of the emotions of others. Feelings, along with people’s decisions, stem from the moral states that drive human cognition. As a result, there is a strong causal link between EI and the phenomenon of the theory of mind, as people identify their experience with the experiences of others through projecting their mental states onto their cognitive contexts.

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