The Reading the Mind in the Eyes test: validation of a French version and exploration of cultural variations in a multi-ethnic city

Cogn Neuropsychiatry. 2014;19(3):189-204. doi: 10.1080/13546805.2013.823859. Epub 2013 Aug 13.


Introduction: The first aim of our study was to validate the French version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test, a theory of mind test. The second aim was to test whether cultural differences modulate performance on this test.

Methods: A total of 109 participants completed the original English version and 97 participants completed the French version. Another group of 30 participants completed the French version twice, one week apart.

Results: We report a similar overall distribution of scores in both versions and no differences in the mean scores between them. However, 2 items in the French version did not collect a majority of responses, which differed from the results of the English version. Test-retest showed good stability of the French version. As expected, participants who do not speak French or English at home, and those born in Asia, performed worse than North American participants, and those who speak English or French at home.

Conclusions: We report a French version with acceptable validity and good stability. The cultural differences observed support the idea that Asian culture does not use theory of mind to explain people's behaviours as much as North American people do.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Culture
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Empathy
  • Ethnic Groups / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Psychometrics / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Theory of Mind*
  • Vocabulary