LIRa session: Jakob Dirk Top

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Speaker: Jakob Dirk Top (University of Groningen)

Date and Time: Thursday, November 30th 2023, 16:30-18:00

Venue: ILLC seminar room F1.15 in Science Park 107 and online

Title: Predictive Theory of Mind Models Based on Public Announcement Logic

Abstract. Epistemic logic can be used to reason about statements such as ‘I know that you know that I know that φ’. In this logic, and its extensions, it is commonly assumed that agents can reason about epistemic statements of arbitrary nesting depth. In contrast, empirical findings on Theory of Mind, the ability to (recursively) reason about mental states of others, show that human recursive reasoning capability has an upper bound.
In the present paper we work towards resolving this disparity by proposing some elements of a logic of bounded Theory of Mind, built on Public Announcement Logic. Using this logic, and a statistical method called Random-Effects Bayesian Model Selection, we estimate the distribution of Theory of Mind levels in the participant population of a previous behavioral experiment. Despite not modeling stochastic behavior, we find that approximately three-quarters of participants’ decisions can be described using Theory of Mind. In contrast to previous empirical research, our models estimate the majority of participants to be second-order Theory of Mind users.

The article was presented at DaLí 2023 and is available online at