In collaboration with Payame Noor University and Iranian Association of Social Psychology

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Shahid Beheshti University

2 M.A. in Criminal Law and Criminology, Shahid Beheshti University

3 Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University

4 M.A. in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University


Introduction: There are incongruent evidences about the lack of theory of mind as one of the causal hypotheses in psychopathy. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of theory of mind and empathy in convicts of penal courts and comparing them with normal individuals. Method: The research design of this study was ex post facto. The participants were 40 convicts of penal courts and 40 people of general population selected by convenience sampling method. Baron Cohen’s Reading Mind from Eyes Test (RMET) and Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) were used as research tools. MANOVA was used for comparing the differences of the two groups in theory of mind and empathy. Results: The results of MANOVA showed significant differences in the ability of mind reading in the two groups; as the functions of convicts of penal courts in mind reading test were significantly lower than their normal counterparts. No significant difference was observed between the ability of empathy in the two groups. Conclusion: According to the results of this study, deficit in theory of mind can be discussed as one of the causal hypotheses in the commission of delinquent behavior and criminal offenses.


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