The Sal and Anne Test: Implications, and Theory of Mind
Author: Dr. Nick Riviera, MD, PhD, FACP, OT, PT, DDT, DNA, ABBA, LP, CCCP
Sal and Annie are in the same room. Sal puts a ball in one of two baskets, and then leaves the room. Annie takes the ball out of the basket, and puts into the other. An NT child will have an unusual capacity (a "splinter skill") to see this as an opportunity for deception. He or she will instantly realize that Sal will not know where the ball is, and that he may be manipulated in this situation.
This splinter skill is sometimes synergistic with an obsessive-compulsive tendency to exploit it ad nauseum. And, as a further pathology, there may also develop the conviction that it is wrong in others, yet remaining blind to it in him or herself. This is known as "Lack of Theory of Mind." LoToM is lacking the ability to read one's own mindstate, while simultaneously believing that one can intuit others thoughts without communication. The latter can be said to border on psychosis, but this is currently a debated matter.
It is important that NT individuals make use of their abnormally developed skills, i.e. lying and deception. For instance, some occupations appropriate for NTs would be:
-M. Robbins, Splat1000@hotmail.com
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Copyright © 1998 ISNT@autistics.org. Last updated September 26, 1998.
...there may also develop the conviction that it is wrong in others, yet remaining blind to it in him or herself. This is known as "Lack of Theory of Mind."