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  1.  50
    Commitment and communication: Are we committed to what we mean, or what we say?Francesca Bonalumi, Thom Scott-Phillips, Julius Tacha & Christophe Heintz - 2020 - Language and Cognition 12 (2):360-384.
    Are communicators perceived as committed to what they actually say (what is explicit), or to what they mean (including what is implicit)? Some research claims that explicit communication leads to a higher attribution of commitment and more accountability than implicit communication. Here we present theoretical arguments and experimental data to the contrary. We present three studies exploring whether the saying–meaning distinction affects commitment attribution in promises, and, crucially, whether commitment attribution is further modulated by the degree to which the hearer (...)
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  2.  40
    Perceiving commitments: When we both know that you are counting on me.Francesca Bonalumi, John Michael & Christophe Heintz - 2021 - Mind and Language 37 (4):502-524.
    Can commitments be generated without promises, commissive speech acts or gestures that are conventionally interpreted as such? While we remain neutral with respect to the normative answer to this question, we propose a psychological answer. Specifically, we hypothesize that people at least believe that commitments are in place if one agent (the sender) has led a second agent (the recipient) to rely on her to do something, and if this is mutually known by the two agents. Crucially, this situation can (...)
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  3.  43
    Cueing Implicit Commitment.Francesca Bonalumi, Margherita Isella & John Michael - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):669-688.
    Despite the importance of commitment for distinctively human forms of sociality, it remains unclear how people prioritize and evaluate their own and others’ commitments - especially implicit commitments. Across two sets of online studies, we found evidence in support of the hypothesis that people’s judgments and attitudes about implicit commitments are governed by an implicit sense of commitment, which is modulated by cues to others’ expectations, and by cues to the costs others have invested on the basis of those expectations.
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  4. Should I stay or should I go? Three-year-olds’ reactions to appropriate motives to interrupt a joint activity.Francesca Bonalumi, Barbora Siposova, Wayne Christensen & John Michael - 2023 - PLoS ONE 18 (7):e0288401.
    Understanding when it is acceptable to interrupt a joint activity is an important part of understanding what cooperation entails. Philosophical analyses have suggested that we should release our partner from a joint activity anytime the activity conflicts with fulfilling a moral obligation. To probe young children’s understanding of this aspect, we investigated whether 3-year-old children (N = 60) are sensitive to the legitimacy of motives (selfish condition vs. moral condition) leading agents to intentionally interrupt their joint activity. We measured whether (...)
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  5.  26
    The importance of epistemic intentions in ascription of responsibility.Katarina M. Kovacevic, Francesca Bonalumi & Christophe Heintz - 2024 - Scientific Reports 14:1183.
    We investigate how people ascribe responsibility to an agent who caused a bad outcome but did not know he would. The psychological processes for making such judgments, we argue, involve finding a counterfactual in which some minimally benevolent intention initiates a course of events that leads to a better outcome than the actual one. We hypothesize that such counterfactuals can include, when relevant, epistemic intentions. With four vignette studies, we show that people consider epistemic intentions when ascribing responsibility for a (...)
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  6.  12
    Beyond the Implicit/Explicit Dichotomy: The Pragmatics of Plausible Deniability.Francesca Bonalumi, Johannes B. Mahr, Pauline Marie & Nausicaa Pouscoulous - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-23.
    In everyday conversation, messages are often communicated indirectly, implicitly. Why do we seem to communicate so inefficiently? How speakers choose to express a message (modulating confidence, using less explicit formulations) has been proposed to impact how committed they will appear to be to its content. This commitment can be assessed in terms of accountability – is the speaker held accountable for what they communicated? – and deniability – can the speaker plausibly deny they intended to communicate it? We investigated two (...)
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  7. Communication and deniability: Moral and epistemic reactions to denials.Francesca Bonalumi, Feride Belma Bumin, Thom Scott-Phillips & Christophe Heintz - 2023 - Frontiers in Psychology 13:1073213.
    People often deny having meant what the audience understood. Such denials occur in both interpersonal and institutional contexts, such as in political discourse, the interpretation of laws and the perception of lies. In practice, denials have a wide range of possible effects on the audience, such as conversational repair, reinterpretation of the original utterance, moral judgements about the speaker, and rejection of the denial. When are these different reactions triggered? What factors make denials credible? There are surprisingly few experimental studies (...)
     
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