Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Joel Martin


Theory of mind, the ability to ascribe mental states to oneself and others, has intimate connections with mental disorders like autism and schizophrenia. Recent research has suggested a connection between eating disorders and theory of mind ability, but these findings have been mixed. The idea that disorders lie along a continuum (Johns & van Os, 2001) leads to the hypothesis that people with disordered eating habits will have a lesser theory of mind ability than those without. Data was collected on 25 undergraduate students at Butler University. Results showed a positive correlation between theory of mind and negative eating attitudes. Although the sample size was small, the present results suggest that individuals with more negative eating attitudes are better at understanding others’ mental states.