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The uncanny valley-the unnerving nature of humanlike robots-is an intriguing idea, but both its existence and its underlying cause are debated. We propose that humanlike robots are not only unnerving, but are so because their appearance prompts attributions of mind. In particular, we suggest that machines become unnerving when people ascribe to them(More)
Believing in God requires not only a leap of faith but also an extension of people's normal capacity to perceive the minds of others. Usually, people perceive minds of all kinds by trying to understand their conscious experience (what it is like to be them) and their agency (what they can do). Although humans are perceived to have both agency and(More)
Perceiving others' minds is a crucial component of social life. People do not, however, always ascribe minds to other people, and sometimes ascribe minds to non-people (e.g. God, gadgets). This article reviews when mind perception occurs, when it does not, and why mind perception is important. Causes of mind perception stem both from the perceiver and(More)
Moral agency is the capacity to do right or wrong, whereas moral patiency is the capacity to be a target of right or wrong. Through 7 studies, the authors explored moral typecasting-an inverse relation between perceptions of moral agency and moral patiency. Across a range of targets and situations, good- and evil-doers (moral agents) were perceived to be(More)
It has long been known that psychopathology can influence social perception, but a 2D framework of mind perception provides the opportunity for an integrative understanding of some disorders. We examined the covariation of mind perception with three subclinical syndromes--autism-spectrum disorder, schizotypy, and psychopathy--and found that each presents a(More)
The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety. —Felix Mendelssohn Felix Mendelssohn, the famous Romantic composer , sought to take the unique experiences of each human life—distinctive sorrows and personal pleasures—and give them universal expression in his music. Likewise, a key goal of science is to take diverse phenomena and ask whether such diversity(More)
When people are the victims of greed or recipients of generosity, their first impulse is often to pay back that behavior in kind. What happens when people cannot reciprocate, but instead have the chance to be cruel or kind to someone entirely different--to pay it forward? In 5 experiments, participants received greedy, equal, or generous divisions of money(More)
When something is wrong, someone is harmed. This hypothesis derives from the theory of dyadic morality, which suggests a moral cognitive template of wrongdoing agent and suffering patient (i.e., victim). This dyadic template means that victimless wrongs (e.g., masturbation) are psychologically incomplete, compelling the mind to perceive victims even when(More)