Our ability to understand and think about the mental states of other people is referred to as “mentalizing” or “theory of mind”. It features prominently in all social behavior, is essential for maintaining relationships, and shows pronounced individual differences. Here we review new approaches to study the underlying psychological mechanisms and discuss how they could best be investigated using modern tools from social neuroscience. We list key desiderata for the field, such as validity, specificity, and reproducibility, and link them to specific recommendations for the future. We also discuss new computational modeling approaches, and the application to psychopathology.