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The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks

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The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks. / O’Grady, Cathleen; Kliesch, Christian; Smith, Kenny; Scott-Phillips, Thom C.

In: Evolution and Human Behavior, Vol. 36, No. 4, 07.2015, p. 313-322.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

O’Grady, C, Kliesch, C, Smith, K & Scott-Phillips, TC 2015, 'The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks', Evolution and Human Behavior, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 313-322. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.01.004

APA

O’Grady, C., Kliesch, C., Smith, K., & Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2015). The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36(4), 313-322. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.01.004

Vancouver

O’Grady C, Kliesch C, Smith K, Scott-Phillips TC. The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks. Evolution and Human Behavior. 2015 Jul;36(4):313-322. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.01.004

Author

O’Grady, Cathleen ; Kliesch, Christian ; Smith, Kenny ; Scott-Phillips, Thom C. / The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks. In: Evolution and Human Behavior. 2015 ; Vol. 36, No. 4. pp. 313-322.

Bibtex

@article{f1eac097804845bdaa2daac6d7dea45f,
title = "The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks",
abstract = "Recursive mindreading is the ability to embed mental representations inside other mental representations e.g. to hold beliefs about beliefs about beliefs. An advanced ability to entertain recursively embedded mental states is consistent with evolutionary perspectives that emphasise the importance of sociality and social cognition in human evolution: high levels of recursive mindreading are argued to be involved in several distinctive human behaviours and institutions, such as communication, religion, and story-telling. However, despite a wealth of research on first-level mindreading under the term Theory of Mind, the human ability for recursive mindreading is relatively understudied, and existing research on the topic has significant methodological flaws. Here we show experimentally that human recursive mindreading abilities are far more advanced than has previously been shown. Specifically, we show that humans are able to mindread to at least seven levels of embedding, both explicitly, through linguistic description, and implicitly, through observing social interactions. However, our data suggest that mindreading may be easier when stimuli are presented implicitly rather than explicitly. We argue that advanced mindreading abilities are to be expected in an extremely social species such as our own, where the ability to reason about others{\textquoteright} mental states is an essential, ubiquitous and adaptive component of everyday life.",
keywords = "Mindreading, Recursive mindreading, Mentalizing, Theory of mind, Metarepresentation, Intentionality, Social cognition",
author = "Cathleen O{\textquoteright}Grady and Christian Kliesch and Kenny Smith and Scott-Phillips, {Thom C.}",
year = "2015",
month = jul,
doi = "10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.01.004",
language = "English",
volume = "36",
pages = "313--322",
journal = "Evolution and Human Behavior",
issn = "1090-5138",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks

AU - O’Grady, Cathleen

AU - Kliesch, Christian

AU - Smith, Kenny

AU - Scott-Phillips, Thom C.

PY - 2015/7

Y1 - 2015/7

N2 - Recursive mindreading is the ability to embed mental representations inside other mental representations e.g. to hold beliefs about beliefs about beliefs. An advanced ability to entertain recursively embedded mental states is consistent with evolutionary perspectives that emphasise the importance of sociality and social cognition in human evolution: high levels of recursive mindreading are argued to be involved in several distinctive human behaviours and institutions, such as communication, religion, and story-telling. However, despite a wealth of research on first-level mindreading under the term Theory of Mind, the human ability for recursive mindreading is relatively understudied, and existing research on the topic has significant methodological flaws. Here we show experimentally that human recursive mindreading abilities are far more advanced than has previously been shown. Specifically, we show that humans are able to mindread to at least seven levels of embedding, both explicitly, through linguistic description, and implicitly, through observing social interactions. However, our data suggest that mindreading may be easier when stimuli are presented implicitly rather than explicitly. We argue that advanced mindreading abilities are to be expected in an extremely social species such as our own, where the ability to reason about others’ mental states is an essential, ubiquitous and adaptive component of everyday life.

AB - Recursive mindreading is the ability to embed mental representations inside other mental representations e.g. to hold beliefs about beliefs about beliefs. An advanced ability to entertain recursively embedded mental states is consistent with evolutionary perspectives that emphasise the importance of sociality and social cognition in human evolution: high levels of recursive mindreading are argued to be involved in several distinctive human behaviours and institutions, such as communication, religion, and story-telling. However, despite a wealth of research on first-level mindreading under the term Theory of Mind, the human ability for recursive mindreading is relatively understudied, and existing research on the topic has significant methodological flaws. Here we show experimentally that human recursive mindreading abilities are far more advanced than has previously been shown. Specifically, we show that humans are able to mindread to at least seven levels of embedding, both explicitly, through linguistic description, and implicitly, through observing social interactions. However, our data suggest that mindreading may be easier when stimuli are presented implicitly rather than explicitly. We argue that advanced mindreading abilities are to be expected in an extremely social species such as our own, where the ability to reason about others’ mental states is an essential, ubiquitous and adaptive component of everyday life.

KW - Mindreading

KW - Recursive mindreading

KW - Mentalizing

KW - Theory of mind

KW - Metarepresentation

KW - Intentionality

KW - Social cognition

U2 - 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.01.004

DO - 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.01.004

M3 - Journal article

VL - 36

SP - 313

EP - 322

JO - Evolution and Human Behavior

JF - Evolution and Human Behavior

SN - 1090-5138

IS - 4

ER -