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Profile: Robert McKay (Norwich University)
  1.  52
    The Evolution of Misbelief.Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):493.
    From an evolutionary standpoint, a default presumption is that true beliefs are adaptive and misbeliefs maladaptive. But if humans are biologically engineered to appraise the world accurately and to form true beliefs, how are we to explain the routine exceptions to this rule? How can we account for mistaken beliefs, bizarre delusions, and instances of self-deception? We explore this question in some detail. We begin by articulating a distinction between two general types of misbelief: those resulting from a breakdown in (...)
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  2.  15
    Delusional Inference.Ryan Mckay - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (3):330-355.
    Does the formation of delusions involve abnormal reasoning? According to the prominent ‘two-factor’ theory of delusions (e.g. Coltheart, 2007), the answer is yes. The second factor in this theory is supposed to affect a deluded individual's ability to evaluate candidates for belief. However, most published accounts of the two-factor theory have not said much about the nature of this second factor. In an effort to remedy this shortcoming, Coltheart, Menzies and Sutton (2010) recently put forward a Bayesian account of inference (...)
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  3. Protesting Too Much: Self-Deception and Self-Signaling.Ryan McKay, Danica Mijovi??-Prelec, Dra?? en Prelec, William von Hippel & Robert Trivers - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (1):34.
    Von Hippel & Trivers (VH&T) propose that self-deception has evolved to facilitate the deception of others. However, they ignore the subjective moral costs of deception and the crucial issue of credibility in self-deceptive speech. A self-signaling interpretation can account for the ritualistic quality of some self-deceptive affirmations and for the often-noted gap between what self-deceivers say and what they truly believe.
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  4.  24
    Attributional Style in a Case of Cotard Delusion.R. Mckay & L. CipoLotti - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):349-359.
    Young and colleagues . Betwixt life and death: case studies of the Cotard delusion. In P. W. Halligan & J. C. Marshall , Method in madness: Case studies in cognitive neuropsychiatry. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.) have suggested that cases of the Cotard delusion result when a particular perceptual anomaly occurs in the context of an internalising attributional style. This hypothesis has not previously been tested directly. We report here an investigation of attributional style in a 24-year-old woman with Cotard (...)
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  5.  27
    Can Evolution Get Us Off the Hook? Evaluating the Ecological Defence of Human Rationality.Maarten Boudry, Michael Vlerick & Ryan McKay - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:524-535.
    This paper discusses the ecological case for epistemic innocence: does biased cognition have evolutionary benefits, and if so, does that exculpate human reasoners from irrationality? Proponents of ‘ecological rationality’ have challenged the bleak view of human reasoning emerging from research on biases and fallacies. If we approach the human mind as an adaptive toolbox, tailored to the structure of the environment, many alleged biases and fallacies turn out to be artefacts of narrow norms and artificial set-ups. However, we argue that (...)
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  6.  23
    Models of Misbelief: Integrating Motivational and Deficit Theories of Delusions.R. Mckay, R. Langdon & M. Coltheart - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (4):932-941.
    The impact of our desires and preferences upon our ordinary, everyday beliefs is well-documented [Gilovich, T. . How we know what isn’t so: The fallibility of human reason in everyday life. New York: The Free Press.]. The influence of such motivational factors on delusions, which are instances of pathological misbelief, has tended however to be neglected by certain prevailing models of delusion formation and maintenance. This paper explores a distinction between two general classes of theoretical explanation for delusions; the motivational (...)
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  7.  35
    Adaptive Misbeliefs and False Memories.John Sutton, Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):535.
    McKay & Dennett (M&D) suggest that some positive illusions are adaptive. But there is a bidirectional link between memory and positive illusions: Biased autobiographical memories filter incoming information, and self-enhancing information is preferentially attended and used to update memory. Extending M&D's approach, I ask if certain false memories might be adaptive, defending a broad view of the psychosocial functions of remembering.
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  8.  16
    Extending the Range of Adaptive Misbelief: Memory “Distortions” as Functional Features.Pascal Boyer, Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):513.
    A large amount of research in cognitive psychology is focused on memory distortions, understood as deviations from various (largely implicit) standards. Many alleged distortions actually suggest a highly functional system that balances the cost of acquiring new information with the benefit of relevant, contextually appropriate decision-making. In this sense many memories may be examples of functionally adaptive misbelief.
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  9.  12
    The Evolution of Religious Misbelief.Ara Norenzayan, Azim F. Shariff, Will M. Gervais, Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):531.
    Inducing religious thoughts increases prosocial behavior among strangers in anonymous contexts. These effects can be explained both by behavioral priming processes as well as by reputational mechanisms. We examine whether belief in moralizing supernatural agents supplies a case for what McKay & Dennett (M&D) call evolved misbelief, concluding that they might be more persuasively seen as an example of culturally evolved misbelief.
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  10.  26
    A Continuum of Mindfulness.Daniel Dennett & Ryan McKay - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):353-354.
    Mesoudi et al. overlook an illuminating parallel between cultural and biological evolution, namely, the existence in each realm of a continuum from intelligent, mindful evolution through to oblivious, mindless evolution. In addition, they underplay the independence of cultural fitness from biological fitness. The assumption that successful cultural traits enhance genetic fitness must be sidelined, as must the assumption that such traits will at least be considered worth having. (Published Online November 9 2006).
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  11.  22
    Culturally Transmitted Misbeliefs.Dan Sperber, Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):534.
    Most human beliefs are acquired through communication, and so are most misbeliefs. Just like the misbeliefs discussed by McKay & Dennett (M&D), culturally transmitted misbeliefs tend to result from limitations rather than malfunctions of the mechanisms that produce them, and few if any can be argued to be adaptations. However, the mechanisms involved, the contents, and the hypothetical adaptive value tend to be specific to the cultural case.
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  12.  36
    Consequential Utilitarianism: Addressing Ethical Deficiencies in the Municipal Landfill Siting Process. [REVIEW]Ruth Burnice McKay - 2000 - Journal of Business Ethics 26 (4):289 - 306.
    This paper examines ethical concerns of the utilitarian paradigm, the greatest good for the greatest number, advocated by many proponents and consultants in siting landfills. The implications of the consequentialist utilitarian approach are considered through the examination of a landfill-site-search case study in Ontario, Canada. Limitations to such an approach, in terms of differing values, equal consideration, equitable participation, distributive justice and the emphasis on non-quantifiable factors are discussed. Recommendations to improve the process are made based on the ethical analysis (...)
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  13.  31
    Non-Instrumental Belief is Largely Founded on Singularity 1.George Ainslie, Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):511.
    The radical evolutionary step that divides human decision-making from that of nonhumans is the ability to excite the reward process for its own sake, in imagination. Combined with hyperbolic over-valuation of the present, this ability is a potential threat to both the individual's long term survival and the natural selection of high intelligence. Human belief is intrinsically or under-founded, which may or may not be adaptive.
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  14.  14
    Are Beliefs the Proper Targets of Adaptationist Analyses?James R. Liddle, Todd K. Shackelford, Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):528.
    McKay & Dennett's (M&D's) description of beliefs, and misbeliefs in particular, is a commendable contribution to the literature; but we argue that referring to beliefs as adaptive or maladaptive can cause conceptual confusion. is inconsistently defined in the article, which adds to confusion and renders it difficult to evaluate the claims, particularly the possibility of.
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  15.  10
    A Comprehensive Animal Series.Robert McKay - 2007 - Society and Animals 15 (2):203-205.
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  16.  10
    Getting Close to Animals with Alice Walker's The Temple of My Familiar.Robert McKay - 2001 - Society and Animals 9 (3):253-271.
    This article offers an analysis of Alice Walker's novel The Temple of My Familiar. It critiques the claim that humans' ability to use language, regarded in this article as equivalent to one sense of the word representation, marks the essential difference of humans from animals. The argument has two stages. The first claims that the novel offers a way to bridge this supposed fundamental difference in order that representation, in a second sense of speaking or advocating for animals, can effectively (...)
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  17.  11
    God Would Be a Costly Accident: Supernatural Beliefs as Adaptive.Dominic Dp Johnson, Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):523.
    I take up the challenge of why false beliefs are better than (target article, sect. 9) in navigating adaptive problems with asymmetric errors. I then suggest that there are interactions between supernatural beliefs, self-deception, and positive illusions, rendering elements of all such misbeliefs adaptive. Finally, I argue that supernatural beliefs cannot be rejected as adaptive simply because recent experiments are inconclusive. The great costs of religion betray its even greater adaptive benefits – we just have not yet nailed down exactly (...)
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  18.  14
    A 12-Step Process of White-Collar Crime.Ruth McKay, Carey Stevens & Jae Fratzl - 2010 - International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 5 (1/2):14-25.
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  19.  5
    Our Evolving Beliefs About Evolved Misbelief.Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):541.
  20.  2
    Touching the Bronze Sphere at a Point A Note on De Anima I, 1, 403a10-16.Robert McKay - 1979 - Apeiron 13 (2):86.
  21.  5
    Touching the Bronze Sphere at a Point: A Note on "de Anima" I, 1, 403a10— 16.Robert McKay - 1979 - Apeiron 13 (2):86 - 91.
  22.  2
    The Animals & Society Institute Fellowship: Catalyzing Work in Human-Animal Studies.Colter Ellis, Robert McKay, Siobhan O’Sullivan, Richard Twine & Kris Weller - 2012 - Society and Animals 20 (2):117-122.
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  23.  2
    Commentary: Crime and Public Opinion.Robert B. McKay - 1984 - Criminal Justice Ethics 3 (1):2-85.
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  24.  2
    Give Me Strength or Give Me a Reason: Self-Control, Religion, and the Currency of Reputation.Justin Harrison & Ryan McKay - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (6):688-689.
  25.  2
    The Animals Society Institute Fellowship: Catalyzing Work in Human-Animal Studies.Colter Ellis, Robert McKay, Siobhan OSullivan, Richard Twine & Kris Weller - 2012 - Society and Animals 20 (2):117-122.
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  26. Enron and the 12 Steps of White-Collar Crime.Randy Appel, Jae Fratzl, Ruth B. McKay & Carey Stevens - 2014 - International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 9 (4):381.
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  27. Against Value in the Arts and Education.Sam Ladkin, Robert McKay & Emile Bojesen (eds.) - 2016 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    A multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary volume exploring the damage to the arts, arts’ funding and education through the rhetoric, manipulation and auditing of value. The collection includes contributions from anthropology, the history of art, literature, education, musicology, political science, and philosophy.
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  28. Capacitative Calcium Entry Channels.James W. Putney & Richard R. McKay - 1999 - Bioessays 21 (1):38-46.
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  29. Choosing the Right Level of Analysis: Stereotypes Shape Social Reality Via Collective Action.Ben M. Tappin, Ryan T. McKay & Dominic Abrams - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
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