Edith Cowan University
This study investigated whether task modality influenced performance on affective and cognitive theory of mind (ToM) tasks. The sample comprised 56 “healthy” adults, including 26 males and 30 females, whose ages ranged from 19 to 59 years. Participants completed four ToM tasks, two of which were designed to assess the affective ToM process, two the cognitive ToM process. One task for each process was a visual task, whilst the second was an audio task, thereby assessing the influence of task modality. Task data was analysed to obtain correlation coefficients, which were compared. The correlations for the affective and cognitive processes used (r = .347, p < .01; r = .421, p < .01) were significant, and higher than those for the visual and auditory modality (r = .185, p = .173; r = .213, p = .114). These results supported the hypothesis that the affective ToM tasks would correlate highly with each other, and cognitive ToM tasks would correlate highly with each other, regardless of the task modality (i.e. visual or auditory). The findings support the research, highlighting that the affective and cognitive ToM processes are independent of the mode of the stimulus presented. Further studies may clarify these results by assessing the components using different tasks.