Causes and consequences of mind perception

Adam Waytz*, Kurt Gray, Nicholas Epley, Daniel M. Wegner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

240 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 perceived, and include the need for social connection (perceiver) and a similarity to oneself (perceived). Mind perception also has profound consequences for both the perceiver and perceived. Ascribing mind confers an entity moral rights and also makes its actions meaningful. Understanding the causes and consequences of mind perception can explain when this most social of cognitive skills will be used, and why it matters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Causes and consequences of mind perception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this