Theory of Mind, Aesthetic Judgment and Child Development Issues: A Narrative Review

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Pedro Mendonça
Alain Savoie
Anne-Marie Émond


The Theory of Mind (ToM) is an empathy related concept that refers to the ability of attributing mental states to oneself and to others. ToM is present throughout the process of aesthetic judgment and essential for an aesthetic experience to happen. We present a narrative overview of four influential studies that propose a developmental model of aesthetic judgment in children and we discuss their inherent relationship with ToM. We argue that ToM permeates the four suggested models, although not expressly mentioned in them, and conclude that ToM cannot be separated from the aesthetic experience in the context of child development.

Keywords: Art Appreciation; Aesthetic Experience; Aesthetic Judgment; Child Development; Empathy; Imagination; Shared meaning; Theory of Mind (ToM).

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