Character and theory of mind: an integrative approach
- 568 Downloads
Traditionally, theories of mindreading have focused on the representation of beliefs and desires. However, decades of social psychology and social neuroscience have shown that, in addition to reasoning about beliefs and desires, human beings also use representations of character traits to predict and interpret behavior. While a few recent accounts have attempted to accommodate these findings, they have not succeeded in explaining the relation between trait attribution and belief-desire reasoning. On my account, character-trait attribution is part of a hierarchical system for action prediction, and serves to inform hypotheses about agents’ beliefs and desires, which are in turn used to predict and interpret behavior.
KeywordsCharacter Trait attribution Theory of mind Mindreading Bayesian predictive coding
I would like to thank Peter Carruthers, Georges Rey, Andrew Knoll, Joseph Jebari, and Charles Starkey for comments on drafts of this paper, and Julius Schönherr, Moonyong Song, Shen Pan, Yichi Zhang, Aida Roige Mas, Kalewold Hailu Kalewald, and Casey Enos for helpful discussion. This research was supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship (#752-2014-0035).
- Ames, D. L., Fiske, S. T., & Todorov, A. (2011). Impression formation: A focus on others’ intents. The Oxford handbook of social neuroscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Andrews, K. (2012). Do apes read minds?: Toward a new folk psychology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Carey, S. (2009). The origin of concepts. Oxford University Press. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=J5flK50tDaIC&pgis=1. Accessed 29 April 2015.
- Clark, A. (2015). Surfing uncertainty: Prediction, action, and the embodied mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Csibra, G. (2008). Action mirroring and action understanding: An alternative account. In P. Haggard, Y. Rossetti, & M. Kawato (Eds.), Sensorymotor foundations of higher cognition. Attention and performance XXII (pp. 435–459). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., Kwan, V. S. Y., Glick, P., Demoulin, S., Leyens, J.-P., et al. (2009). Stereotype content model across cultures: Towards universal similarities and some differences. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48(1), 1–33. doi: 10.1348/014466608X314935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Deen, B., & Saxe, R. R. (2012). Neural correlates of social perception: The posterior superior temporal sulcus is modulated by action rationality, but not animacy. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Cognitive Science Society Conference (pp. 276–281).Google Scholar
- Foot, P. (1967). Theories of ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Goldman, A. I. (2006). Simulating minds: The philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of mindreading. Oxford University Press. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=gRlnfe67ZAQC&pgis=1. Accessed 5 May 2015.
- Gray, C. (2007). Writing social stories with Carol Gray. Arlington: Future Horizons.Google Scholar
- Harman, G. (1999). Moral philosophy meets social psychology: Virtue ethics and the fundamental attribution error author (s): Gilbert Harman Source. In Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series, 99 (pp. 315–331).Google Scholar
- Hohwy, J., & Palmer, C. (2014). Social cognition as causal inference: Implications for common knowledge and autism. In M. Gallotti & J. Michael (Eds.), Perspectives on social ontology and social cognition (pp. 167–189). Dordrecht: Springer, Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-9147-2_12.Google Scholar
- Jeannerod, M., Arbib, M. A., Rizzolatti, G., & Sakata, H. (1995). Grasping objets: The cortical mechanisms of visuomotor transformation. Trends in Neurosciences, 18(7), 314–320. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016622369593921J.
- Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York, NY: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Malle, B. F. (2004). How the mind explains behavior: Folk explanations, meaning, and social interaction. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Norenzayan, A., Choi, I., & Nisbett, R. (2003). Cultural similarities and differences in social inference: evidence from behavioral predictions and lay theories of behavior. Human Resource Abstracts, 38(2), 109–120.Google Scholar
- Spaulding, S. (2016). Mind misreading (p. 26). Issues: Philosophical.Google Scholar
- Todorov, A. (2013). Making up your mind after 100-ms exposure to face. Psychological Science, 17(7), 592–598.Google Scholar
- Trope, Y., & Gaunt, R. (2007). Attribution and person perception. In M. Hogg & J. Cooper (Eds.), The sage handbook of social psychology (pp. 176–194). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Wellman, H. M., Cross, D., & Watson, J. (2001). Meta-analysis of theory-of-mind development: the truth about false belief. Child development, 72(3), 655–84. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11405571.