Evaluation of a newly developed measure of theory of mind: the virtual assessment of mentalising ability

Canty, Allana L., Neumann, David L., Fleming, Jennifer and Shum, David H. K. (2015) Evaluation of a newly developed measure of theory of mind: the virtual assessment of mentalising ability. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, . doi:10.1080/09602011.2015.1052820

Author Canty, Allana L.
Neumann, David L.
Fleming, Jennifer
Shum, David H. K.
Title Evaluation of a newly developed measure of theory of mind: the virtual assessment of mentalising ability
Journal name Neuropsychological Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1464-0694
Publication date 2015
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09602011.2015.1052820
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Total pages 37
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract This study examined the reliability and validity of the Virtual Assessment of Mentalising Ability (VAMA). The VAMA consists of 12 video clips depicting a social drama imposed within an interactive virtual environment with questions assessing the mental states of virtual friends. Response options capture the continuum of ability (i.e., impaired, reduced, accurate, and hypermentalising) within first- and second-order cognitive and affective theory of mind (ToM). Sixty-two healthy participants were administered the VAMA, three other ToM measures, and additional measures of neurocognitive abilities and social functioning. The VAMA had sound internal consistency and high test-retest reliability. Significant correlations between performance on the VAMA and other ToM measures provided preliminary evidence of convergent validity. Small to moderate correlations were observed between performance on the VAMA and neurocognitive tasks. Further, the VAMA was found to correlate significantly with indices of social functioning and was rated as more immersive, more reflective of everyday ToM processes, and was afforded a higher recommendation than an existing computer-based ToM task. These results provide potential evidence that the VAMA is an ecologically valid tool that is sensitive to the spread of ability that can occur in ToM subprocesses and may be a valuable addition to existing ToM measures. Future research should explore the validity and utility of the VAMA in larger, more diverse samples of healthy adult and clinical populations.
Keyword Theory of mind
Social cognition
Virtual reality
Ecological validity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Online ahead of print

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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