The Folk Psychology of Consciousness

Adam Arico, Brian Fiala, Robert F. Goldberg, Shaun Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper proposes the 'AGENCY model' of conscious state attribution, according to which an entity's displaying certain relatively simple features (e.g. eyes, distinctive motions, interactive behavior) automatically triggers a disposition to attribute conscious states to that entity. To test the model's predictions, participants completed a speeded object/attribution task, in which they responded positively or negatively to attributions of mental properties (including conscious and non-conscious states) to different sorts of entities (insects, plants, artifacts, etc.). As predicted, participants responded positively to conscious state attributions only for those entities that typically display the simple features identified in the AGENCY model (eyes, distinctive motion, interaction) and took longer to deny conscious states to those entities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-352
Number of pages26
JournalMind and Language
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language

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