Messeplatz, Basel, Switzerland

Basel version of the Awareness of Social Inference Test – Theory of Mind (BASIT-ToM)

Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to understand the mental state of other people. It can be subdivided into:

  • Affective ToM: understanding of others’ feelings
  • Cognitive ToM: understanding of others’ thoughts and intentions


The BASIT-ToM is a performance-based online instrument to assess the ability to understand the mental states of other people.

The test contains 9 short video scenes (max. 60 sec). Developed in cooperation with a film institute and performed by German-speaking professional actors, this video-based approach enables a realistic assessment of ToM.

The following three forms of communication are to be interpreted:

  • Sincere communication
  • Sarcastic communication
  • Paradoxically sarcastic communication (speech is nonsensical except if the actor is assumed to be insincere)


After each scene, the subject is asked four yes/no questions about the thoughts, intentions, and feelings of the actors. An additional fifth question assesses hypermentalisation (tendency to generate extra assumptions not inferable based on the scenes).



Each answer is rated as correct (1) or incorrect (0).

Four mean scores can be calculated:

  • ToM total score: mean score of all questions without hypermentalisation (n=36)
  • Affective ToM score: mean score of questions about affective ToM (n=21)
  • Cognitive ToM score: mean score of questions about cognitive ToM (n=15)
  • Hypermentalisation score: mean score of hypermentalisation questions (n=9)


The test is self-explanatory and programmed for iPad (also suitable for iOS, Android, PC).

Administration time

20 – 30 minutes



Demo version

With the following link, you can start the demo version of the BASIT-ToM: Start demo version

More information about the BASIT-ToM can be found in Literature