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Profile: Ori Friedman (University of Waterloo)
  1. Core Mechanisms in ‘Theory of Mind’.Alan M. Leslie, Ori Friedman & Tim P. German - 2004 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (12):528-533.
    Our ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of other people does not initially develop as a theory but as a mechanism. The ‘ theory of mind ’ mechanism is part of the core architecture of the human brain, and is specialized for learning about mental states. Impaired development of this mechanism can have drastic effects on social learning, seen most strikingly in the autistic spectrum disorders. ToMM kick-starts belief–desire attribution but effective reasoning about belief contents depends on a process (...)
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  2. The Folk Conception of Knowledge.Christina Starmans & Ori Friedman - 2012 - Cognition 124 (3):272-283.
    How do people decide which claims should be considered mere beliefs and which count as knowledge? Although little is known about how people attribute knowledge to others, philosophical debate about the nature of knowledge may provide a starting point. Traditionally, a belief that is both true and justified was thought to constitute knowledge. However, philosophers now agree that this account is inadequate, due largely to a class of counterexamples (termed ‘‘Gettier cases’’) in which a person’s justified belief is true, but (...)
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  3.  34
    The Development of Territory-Based Inferences of Ownership.Brandon W. Goulding & Ori Friedman - 2018 - Cognition 177:142-149.
    Legal systems often rule that people own objects in their territory. We propose that an early-developing ability to make territory-based inferences of ownership helps children address informational demands presented by ownership. Across 6 experiments (N = 504), we show that these inferences develop between ages 3 and 5 and stem from two aspects of the psychology of ownership. First, we find that a basic ability to infer that people own objects in their territory is already present at age 3 (Experiment (...)
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  4.  11
    Determining Who Owns What: Do Children Infer Ownership From First Possession?Ori Friedman & Karen R. Neary - 2008 - Cognition 107 (3):829-849.
    A basic problem of daily life is determining who owns what. One way that people may solve this problem is by relying on a ‘first possession’ heuristic, according to which the first person who possesses an object is its owner, even if others subsequently possess the object. We investigated preschoolers’ use of this heuristic in five experiments. In Experiments 1 and 2, 3- and 4-year-olds inferred that an object was owned by the character who possessed it first, even though another (...)
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  5.  32
    The Conceptual Underpinnings of Pretense: Pretending is Not ‘Behaving-as-If’.Ori Friedman & Alan M. Leslie - 2007 - Cognition 105 (1):103-124.
    The ability to engage in and recognize pretend play begins around 18 months. A major challenge for theories of pretense is explaining how children are able to engage in pretense, and how they are able to recognize pretense in others. According to one major account, the metarepresentational theory, young children possess both production and recognition abilities because they possess the mental state concept, pretend. According to a more recent rival account, the Behavioral theory, young children are behaviorists about pretense, and (...)
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  6.  36
    Taking 'Know' for an Answer: A Reply to Nagel, San Juan, and Mar.Christina Starmans & Ori Friedman - 2013 - Cognition 129 (3):662-665.
    Nagel, San Juan, and Mar report an experiment investigating lay attributions of knowledge, belief, and justification. They suggest that, in keeping with the expectations of philosophers, but contra recent empirical findings [Starmans, C. & Friedman, O. (2012). The folk conception of knowledge. Cognition, 124, 272–283], laypeople consistently deny knowledge in Gettier cases, regardless of whether the beliefs are based on ‘apparent’ or ‘authentic’ evidence. In this reply, we point out that Nagel et al. employed a questioning method that biased participants (...)
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  7.  1
    Identical but Not Interchangeable: Preschoolers View Owned Objects as Non-Fungible.Stephanie McEwan, Madison L. Pesowski & Ori Friedman - 2016 - Cognition 146:16-21.
    Owned objects are typically viewed as non-fungible-they cannot be freely interchanged. We report three experiments (total N=312) demonstrating this intuition in preschool-aged children. In Experiment 1, children considered an agent who takes one of two identical objects and leaves the other for a peer. Children viewed this as acceptable when the agent took his own item, but not when he took his peer's item. In Experiment 2, children considered scenarios where one agent took property from another. Children said the victim (...)
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  8.  12
    Is Young Children’s Recognition of Pretense Metarepresentational or Merely Behavioral? Evidence From 2- and 3-Year-Olds’ Understanding of Pretend Sounds and Speech.Ori Friedman, Karen R. Neary, Corinna L. Burnstein & Alan M. Leslie - 2010 - Cognition 115 (2):314-319.
  9.  14
    A Developmental Shift in Processes Underlying Successful Belief‐Desire Reasoning.Ori Friedman & Alan M. Leslie - 2004 - Cognitive Science 28 (6):963-977.
    Young children’s failures in reasoning about beliefs and desires, and especially about false beliefs, have been much studied. However, there are few accounts of successful belief-desire reasoning in older children or adults. An exception to this is a model in which belief attribution is treated as a process wherein an inhibitory system selects the most likely content for the belief to be attributed from amongst several competing contents [Leslie, A. M., & Polizzi, P. (1998). Developmental Science, 1, 247–254]. We tested (...)
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  10.  14
    For the Greater Goods? Ownership Rights and Utilitarian Moral Judgment.J. Charles Millar, John Turri & Ori Friedman - 2014 - Cognition 133 (1):79-84.
    People often judge it unacceptable to directly harm a person, even when this is necessary to produce an overall positive outcome, such as saving five other lives. We demonstrate that similar judgments arise when people consider damage to owned objects. In two experiments, participants considered dilemmas where saving five inanimate objects required destroying one. Participants judged this unacceptable when it required violating another’s ownership rights, but not otherwise. They also judged that sacrificing another’s object was less acceptable as a means (...)
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  11.  9
    “Because It's Hers”: When Preschoolers Use Ownership in Their Explanations.Shaylene E. Nancekivell & Ori Friedman - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (3):827-843.
    Young children show competence in reasoning about how ownership affects object use. In the present experiments, we investigate how influential ownership is for young children by examining their explanations. In three experiments, we asked 3- to 5-year-olds to explain why it was acceptable or unacceptable for a person to use an object. In Experiments 1 and 2, older preschoolers referenced ownership more than alternative considerations when explaining why it was acceptable or unacceptable for a person to use an object, even (...)
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  12.  58
    Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge?Ori Friedman & John Turri - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (5):1062-1080.
    We report a series of experiments examining whether people ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence. Participants were less likely to ascribe knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for beliefs based on perceptual evidence or testimony providing causal information. Denial of knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence did not arise because participants viewed such beliefs as unjustified, nor because such beliefs leave open the possibility of error. These findings rule out traditional philosophical accounts for why (...)
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  13.  63
    Winners and Losers in the Folk Epistemology of Lotteries.John Turri & Ori Friedman - forthcoming - In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology.
    We conducted five experiments that reveal some main contours of the folk epistemology of lotteries. The folk tend to think that you don't know that your lottery ticket lost, based on the long odds ("statistical cases"); by contrast, the folk tend to think that you do know that your lottery ticket lost, based on a news report ("testimonial cases"). We evaluate three previous explanations for why people deny knowledge in statistical cases: the justification account, the chance account, and the statistical (...)
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  14.  13
    Parallels in Preschoolers' and Adults' Judgments About Ownership Rights and Bodily Rights.Julia W. Van de Vondervoort & Ori Friedman - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (1):184-198.
    Understanding ownership rights is necessary for socially appropriate behavior. We provide evidence that preschoolers' and adults' judgments of ownership rights are related to their judgments of bodily rights. Four-year-olds and adults evaluated the acceptability of harmless actions targeting owned property and body parts. At both ages, evaluations did not vary for owned property or body parts. Instead, evaluations were influenced by two other manipulations—whether the target belonged to the agent or another person, and whether that other person approved of the (...)
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  15.  8
    Acquiring Ownership and the Attribution of Responsibility.Max Palamar, Doan T. Le & Ori Friedman - 2012 - Cognition 124 (2):201-208.
    How is ownership established over non-owned things? We suggest that people may view ownership as a kind of credit given to agents responsible for making possession of a non-owned object possible. On this view, judgments about the establishment of ownership depend on attributions of responsibility. We report three experiments showing that people’s judgments about the establishment of ownership are influenced by an agent’s intent and control in bringing about an outcome, factors that also affect attributions of responsibility. These findings demonstrate (...)
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  16. Number 1 Regular Articles.Josep Call, Olga Kochukhova, Gustaf Gredebäck, Sorel Cahan, Yaniv Mor, Nina Kazanina, Colin Phillips, Ori Friedman, Alan M. Leslie & Susan A. Gelman - 2007 - Cognition 105:726-729.
     
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  17. The Conceptual Underpinnings of Pretense: Pretending is Not 'Behaving-as-If.'.Ori Friedman & Alan M. Leslie - 2007 - Cognition 105 (1):103-124.
    The ability to engage in and recognize pretend play begins around 18 months. A major challenge for theories of pretense is explaining how children are able to engage in pretense, and how they are able to recognize pretense in others. According to one major account, the metarepresentational theory, young children possess both production and recognition abilities because they possess the mental state concept, PRETEND. According to a more recent rival account, the Behavioral theory, young children are behaviorists about pretense, and (...)
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  18.  1
    Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge?Ori Friedman & John Turri - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (5):1062-1080.
    We report a series of experiments examining whether people ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence. Participants were less likely to ascribe knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for beliefs based on perceptual evidence or testimony providing causal information. Denial of knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence did not arise because participants viewed such beliefs as unjustified, nor because such beliefs leave open the possibility of error. These findings rule out traditional philosophical accounts for why (...)
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  19.  30
    Non-Interpretative Metacognition for True Beliefs.Ori Friedman & Adam R. Petrashek - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):146-147.
    Mindreading often requires access to beliefs, so the mindreading system should be able to self-attribute beliefs, even without self-interpretation. This proposal is consistent with Carruthers' claim that mindreading and metacognition depend on the same cognitive system and the same information as one another; and it may be more consistent with this claim than is Carruthers' account of metacognition.
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  20.  5
    If I Am Free, You Can’T Own Me: Autonomy Makes Entities Less Ownable.Christina Starmans & Ori Friedman - 2016 - Cognition 148:145-153.
    Although people own myriad objects, land, and even ideas, it is currently illegal to own other humans. This reluctance to view people as property raises interesting questions about our conceptions of people and about our conceptions of ownership. We suggest that one factor contributing to this reluctance is that humans are normally considered to be autonomous, and autonomy is incompatible with being owned by someone else. To investigate whether autonomy impacts judgments of ownership, participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk read (...)
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  21. Knowledge Central: A Central Role for Knowledge Attributions in Social Evaluations.John Turri, Ori Friedman & Ashley Keefner - 2017 - Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 70 (3):504-515.
    Five experiments demonstrate the central role of knowledge attributions in social evaluations. In Experiments 1–3, we manipulated whether an agent believes, is certain of, or knows a true proposition and asked people to rate whether the agent should perform a variety of actions. We found that knowledge, more so than belief or certainty, leads people to judge that the agent should act. In Experiments 4–5, we investigated whether attributions of knowledge or certainty can explain an important finding on how people (...)
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