Individual differences in theory-of-mind judgments: Order effects and side effects

Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):343 - 355 (2011)
We explore and provide an account for a recently identified judgment anomaly, i.e., an order effect that changes the strength of intentionality ascriptions for some side effects (e.g., when a chairman's pursuit of profits has the foreseen but unintended consequence of harming the environment). Experiment 1 replicated the previously unanticipated order effect anomaly controlling for general individual differences. Experiment 2 revealed that the order effect was multiply determined and influenced by factors such as beliefs (i.e., that the same actor was involved in bringing about both good and bad side effects) and philosophical training (i.e., more training was associated with smaller differences in judgment when harm followed help). Results provide more evidence that the folk's philosophically relevant intuitions are predictably fragmented and depend on the dynamic interplay between persons, process, and environments. Methodological and theoretical implications are discussed
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2011.556611
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