This article examines the relationship between implicit mentalprocesses and ethical decisions made by managers. Based on the dual-process view in social and cognitive psychology, it is argued that social cognition (e.g., moral judgments) can rely on two different modes of information processing. On one hand, moral judgments reflect explicit, conscious, and extensive cognitive processes, which are attributed to explicit attitude. On the other hand, moral judgments may also be based on implicit, automatic, and effortless processes (...) referring to implicit attitude. To test this thesis, a study involving 182 participants was conducted. The results support the thesis. (shrink)
The demise of behaviorism has made ethologists more willing to ascribe mental states to animals. However, a methodology that can avoid the charge of excessive anthropomorphism is needed. We describe a series of experiments that could help determine whether the behavior of nonhuman animals towards dead conspecifics is concept mediated. These experiments form the basis of a general point. The behavior of some animals is clearly guided by complex mentalprocesses. The techniques developed by comparative psychologists and (...) behavioral ecologists are able to provide us with the tools to critically evaluate hypotheses concerning the continuity between human minds and animal minds. (shrink)
I have advocated a time-slice-centric model of rationality, according to which there are no diachronic requirements of rationality. Podgorski challenges this picture on the grounds that temporally extended mentalprocesses are epistemically important, rationally evaluable, and governed by diachronic requirements. I argue that the particular cases that Podgorski marshals to make his case are unconvincing, but that his general challenge might motivate countenancing rational requirements on processes like reasoning. However, so long as such diachronic requirements are merely (...) derivative of more fundamental synchronic requirements, so that a pattern of reasoning counts as rational or irrational only in so far as it tends to lead one to better satisfy these fundamental synchronic requirements, we can meet Podgorski’s challenge without significantly deviating from a time-slice-centric approach to epistemology. (shrink)
We propose a distinction between precategorial, acategorial and categorial states within a scientiﬁcally oriented understanding of mentalprocesses. This distinction can be speciﬁed by approaches developed in cognitive neuroscience and the analytical philosophy of mind. On the basis of a representational theory of mentalprocesses, acategoriality refers to a form of knowledge that presumes fully developed categorial mental representations, yet refers to nonconceptual experiences in mental states beyond categorial states. It relies on a simultaneous (...) experience of potential individual representations and their actual “representational ground”, an undiﬀerentiated precategorial state. This simultaneity is possible if the mental state does not reside in a representation but in between representations. Acategoriality can be formally modeled as an unstable state of a dynamical mental system that is subject to particular stability criteria. (shrink)
MentalProcesses in the Human Brain provides an integrative overview of the rapid advances and future challenges in understanding the neurobiological basis of mentalprocesses that are characteristically human. With chapters from leading figures in the brain sciences, it will be essential for all those in the cognitive and brain sciences.
The question of reductionism is an obstacle to unification. Many behavioral scientists who study the more complex or higher mental functions avoid regarding them as selected by motivation. Game-theoretic models in which complex processes grow from the strategic interaction of elementary reward-seeking processes can overcome the mechanical feel of earlier reward-based models. Three examples are briefly described. (Published Online April 27 2007).
Dienes & Perner's target article constitutes a significant advance in thinking about implicit knowledge. However, it largely neglects processing details and thus the time scale of mental states realizing propositional attitudes. Considering real-time processing raises questions about the possible brevity of implicit representation, the nature of processes that generate explicit knowledge, and the points of view from which knowledge may be represented. Understanding the propositional attitude analysis in terms of momentary mental states points the way toward answering (...) these questions. (shrink)
Much indirect evidence supports the hypothesis that transformations of mental images are at least in part guided by motor processes, even in the case of images of abstract objects rather than of body parts. For example, rotation may be guided by processes that also prime one to see results of a specific motor action. We directly test the hypothesis by means of a dual-task paradigm in which subjects perform the Cooper-Shepard mental rotation task while executing an (...) unseen motor rotation in a given direction and at a previously learned speed. Four results support the inference that mental rotation relies on motor processes. First, motor rotation that is compatible with mental rotation results in faster times and fewer errors in the imagery task than when the two rotations are incompatible. Second, the angle through which subjects rotate their mental images, and the angle through which they rotate a joystick handle are correlated, but only if the directions of the two rotations are compatible. Third, motor rotation modifies the classical inverted V-shaped mental rotation response time function, favoring the direction of the motor rotation; indeed, in some cases motor rotation even shifts the location of the minimum of this curve in the direction of the motor rotation. Fourth, the preceding effect is sensitive not only to the direction of the motor rotation, but also to the motor speed. A change in the speed of motor rotation can correspondingly slow down or speed up the mental rotation. (shrink)
The target article focuses exclusively on System 2 and on reasoning rationality: the ability to reach valid conclusions from available information, as in the Wason task. The decision-theoretic concept of coherence rationality requires beliefs to be consistent, even when they are assessed one at a time. Judgment heuristics belong to System 1, and help explain the incoherence of intuitive beliefs.
This chapter takes a naturalized approach to the philosophy of science using evidence from cognitive psychology and from the history of science. It first describes the problem of the theory ladenness of perception. Then it provides a general top-down/bottom-up framework from cognitive psychology that is used to organize and evaluate the evidence for theory ladenness throughout the process of carrying out science (perception, attention, thinking, experimenting, memory, and communication). The chapter highlights both the facilitatory and inhibitory role of theory in (...) the scientific process. Both the historical record and the evidence from cognitive psychology suggest that the top-down factors have their greatest impact when the bottom-up information is weak or degraded. There is a short discussion of the normative implications of the material in the chapter for carrying out science. (shrink)