Iris van Rooij
Radboud University Nijmegen
Theory of mind refers to the human capacity for reasoning about others’ mental states based on observations of their actions and unfolding events. This type of reasoning is notorious in the cognitive science literature for its presumed computational intractability. A possible reason could be that it may involve higher-order thinking. To investigate this we formalize theory of mind reasoning as updating of beliefs about beliefs using dynamic epistemic logic, as this formalism allows to parameterize ‘order of thinking.’ We prove that theory of mind reasoning, so formalized, indeed is intractable. Using parameterized complexity we prove, however, that the ‘order parameter’ is not a source of intractability. We furthermore consider a set of alternative parameters and investigate which of them are sources of intractability. We discuss the implications of these results for the understanding of theory of mind.
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DOI 10.1007/s10849-018-9268-4
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Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & G. Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.

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