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Correlations Among Social-Cognitive Skills in Adolescents Involved in Acting or Arts Classes


Thalia R. Goldstein, Department of Psychology, Yale University, Box 208205, New Haven, CT 06520-8205; e-mail:


Empathy, theory of mind, and adaptive emotion regulation are critical skills for social functioning. However, the ways in which these skills may co- or differentially develop has thus far been understudied. We explored how these social-cognitive skills converge and diverge across a year of development in early adolescence, and with different kinds of arts training: the visual arts or music, and acting. Results show differential effects of acting versus other arts training, with the expected convergence for the artists and musicians but less convergence than predicted for the actors. Results are discussed in light of the cognitive effects of arts and acting training and social cognition as a field.