In Why We Read Fiction, Zunshine refers to fictional representations of autism or "mindblindness
" (Baron-Cohen Mindblindness
: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1995.
(16.) Baron-Cohen provides an engaging introduction to the cognitive approach to the theory of other minds in Mindblindness
The "rapid comprehension and prediction of another organism's behaviour" (Baron-Cohen, Mindblindness
12) is necessary to maximize an individual's survival, but survival, as represented in the novel's opening scene, is also dependent upon chance.
In his influential 1995 study, Mindblindness
: An Essay on Autism and a Theory of Mind, Simon Baron-Cohen points out that "attributing mental states to a complex system (such as a human being) is by far the easiest way of understanding it," that is, of "coming up with an explanation of the complex system's behavior and predicting what it will do next" (21).
: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.
An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind.
Simon Baron-Cohen calls this "mindblindness
," the inability to understand what is going on in other people's minds.
Baron-Cohen (1995) reviewed theory of mind research and described people with autism as "mindblind." He viewed mindblindness
as a core deficit in autism, and "it is now widely accepted that individuals with autism are impaired in the intuitive understanding that people have mental states" (Hill & Frith, 2004, p.
He discusses theory of mind and situated cognition to evaluate Iago's overmentalizing; cognitive behavioral therapy and Stoic philosophy to understand Iago and his masochism, arguing that masochism allows Iago to negate his hyperattunment to others and permits release; Iago in terms of the neural sublime, or the cognitive unconscious; and Othello's cognitions and mindblindness
. ([umlaut] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)
Under debate in psychology, theory of mind refers to one's ability to impute mental states, such as beliefs, feelings, or intentions, to another person; its opposite or deficit is sometimes called mindblindness
. An everyday naive mentalism appears to underlie the ability to construct a social world, to categorize plans, wishes, deceptions, accidental consequences, and the like.