Perspective Taking and Theory of Mind in Hide and Seek

Chris N. H. Street, Walter F. Bischof, Alan Kingstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Does theory of mind play a significant role in where people choose to hide an item or where they search for an item that has been hidden? Adapting Anderson’s "Hide-Find Paradigm" Anderson et al. (Action, Perception and Performance, 76, 907–913, 2014) participants viewed homogenous or popout visual arrays on a touchscreen table. Their task was to indicate where in the array they would hide an item, or to search for an item that had been hidden, by either a friend or a foe. Critically, participants believed that their sitting location at the touchtable was the same as—or opposite to—their partner's location. Replicating Anderson et al., participants tended to (1) select items nearer to themselves on homogenous displays, and this bias was stronger for a friend than foe; and (2) select popout items, and again, more for a friend than foe. These biases were observed only when participants believed that they shared the same physical perspective as their partner. Collectively, the data indicate that theory of mind plays a significant role in hiding and finding, and demonstrate that the hide-find paradigm is a powerful tool for investigating theory of mind in adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number1
Early online date13 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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