Character-trait attribution is an important component of everyday social cognition that has until recently received insufficient attention in traditional accounts of folk psychology. In this paper, I consider how the case of character-trait attribution fits into the debate between mindreading-based and broadly ‘pluralistic’ approaches to folk psychology. Contrary to the arguments of some pluralists, I argue that the evidence on trait understanding does not show that it is a distinct, non-mentalistic mode of folk-psychological reasoning, but rather suggests that traits are ordinarily understood as mentalistic dispositions. I also examine several ways in which trait attribution might also serve regulative, ‘mindshaping’ functions by promoting predictable norm-governed behavior, and argue that mindreading plays several important roles in these cases as well. I conclude that an appreciation of the relationship between trait attribution and mindreading is crucial to understanding the role it plays in our folk psychology.