The Folk Psychology of Consciousness

Mind and Language 26 (3):327-352 (2011)
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
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2011.01420.x
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