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We explored the relationship between the “Theory of Mind” (ToM) and socio-emotional functioning among primary aging individuals. Our sample was comprised of 266 older adults ranging from 65 years old to 94 years old. On all participants, we measured ToM and calculated indexes of performance such as causal connection and psychological lexicon. In addition, we assessed emotional (depression, alexithymia, distress, life satisfaction, empathy and hostility) and social variables (perception of the future, loneliness, social avoidance and perception of social support) with a battery of tests. The results of our cognitive screening indicated that 189 older adults presented normal or primary aging patterns. The results obtained with the sample of normal older adults showed that: a) social variables are independent from ToM; and b) emotional functioning predicted the making of causal connection and the use of psychological lexicon among participants who responded to ToM tasks. We discuss our work within a socio-emotional conceptual framework.


This work was originally published in the Journal of Neurology and Psychology.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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