Synthese 196 (7):2821-2846 (2019)

Authors
Evan Westra
York University
Abstract
Both mindreading and stereotyping are forms of social cognition that play a pervasive role in our everyday lives, yet too little attention has been paid to the question of how these two processes are related. This paper offers a theory of the influence of stereotyping on mental-state attribution that draws on hierarchical predictive coding accounts of action prediction. It is argued that the key to understanding the relation between stereotyping and mindreading lies in the fact that stereotypes centrally involve character-trait attributions, which play a systematic role in the action–prediction hierarchy. On this view, when we apply a stereotype to an individual, we rapidly attribute to her a cluster of generic character traits on the basis of her perceived social group membership. These traits are then used to make inferences about that individual’s likely beliefs and desires, which in turn inform inferences about her behavior.
Keywords theory of mind  stereotypes  essentialism  hierarchical predictive coding
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1575-9
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References found in this work BETA

The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
Folk Psychology as Simulation.Robert M. Gordon - 1986 - Mind and Language 1 (2):158-71.

View all 42 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Street Smarts.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):161-180.
Folk Psychology as a Theory.Ian Martin Ravenscroft - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

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