New Publication: Reconsidering Automatic Theory of Mind

We think about others and reason about other minds all the time: but do we do this automatically? There is an on-going debate in the literature about the automaticity of theory of mind (ToM). Is ToM effortful or automatic? A new Psychological Science paper, coauthored by PhD student Desmond Ong, in collaboration with Stanford Psychology Professor Michael Frank and others, sheds more light on this debate. The paper offers a replication of a previous important and influential study whose results support automatic ToM. Desmond and his collaborators find that the original study had several experimental confounds, which invalidates the previous evidence for automatic ToM. Still, the authors argue that the jury is still out on automatic ToM: we need to develop better experimental methodologies to address this question. Read more about this paper here and check out more of our lab's publications here.