Guidelines for Translations and Adaptation of the ToMI and ToM Task Battery

The ToMI Advisory Board is gratified by the research and clinical usefulness of the ToMI, and welcomes its adaptation into as many of the world’s languages as possible. However, it is important that adaptations of the ToMI adhere to shared standards and procedures that make them genuinely comparable to the original and thus insure some degree of coherence and consistency across versions. Furthermore, given the extensive work required to develop an adequate adaptation, it is important that appropriate academic and other resources be available for the project, and that duplication be avoided. We encourage translators to use back-translation by native speakers as a way of checking quality and to adhere to the International Test Commission Guidelines for Translating and Adapting Tests.

The ToMI Advisory Board authorizes specific adaptations of the ToMI and ToM Task Battery, using the following guidelines:

The research team should have appropriate competence and resources for generating a successful adaptation, which may include norming and validation. We encourage collaboration among researchers in these projects. When the resources and plans are appropriate, a full, exclusive authorization (Level I) will be granted. In other cases, an individual researcher or group of researchers may wish to develop an adaptation for a specific research project, such as a dissertation, without plans for full norming and validation. In these cases, a limited, nonexclusive authorization (Level II) will be granted, which does not include the right to distribute the form to others. This does not preclude an individual or research group from proposing a full adaptation at a later time. Please note that one requirement of translation involves the translators’ permission to post their contact informationon this website and to provide updated contact information changes. Our hope is that researchers who develop successful translations will share their tools with other researchers and that duplication be avoided.

Investigators interested in developing an authorized adaptation of the ToMI should follow these steps:

1. Describe the proposed project, addressing the guidelines listed above, and submit this proposal to the ToMI Advisory Board. Tiffany Hutchins ( is the contact person for these requests. The request should include:

– A statement of the nature of the proposed adaptation, plans for norming and validation (if any), and in the case of languages closely related to those with existing authorization, an explanation of the need for a new adaptation.

– Names and contact information (affiliations and address, email, phone) for the principal authors of the adaptation.

– An approximate timetable.

The ToMI Advisory Board will provide written authorization of approved projects, and would be happy to maintain contact during the development period, if the research team finds consultation useful.

2. When the adaptation is complete, a copy should be sent to the ToMI Advisory Board (again, Tiffany Hutchins at for final approval.  Approved adaptations will be listed on the ToMI website ( with links to the instrument and to the adaptation team. Note that there is no requirement that the term “Theory of Mind” be used in the title of adaptations. When it is not used in the title, a footnote or other prominent note should be included on the form acknowledging that this is an authorized adaptation of the “Theory of Mind Inventory.”

3. Authors of approved versions who wish to explore commercial publication of their instruments must obtain explicit, written permission from the ToMI Advisory Board, holders of the ToMI copyright. This permission will normally be granted automatically for all languages other than English, if the previous steps have been followed. All authorizations for publication by the ToMI Advisory Board are for specific adaptations whose development have been previously authorized, and have no implications for other adaptations.