Distortions of mind perception in psychopathology.
ABSTRACT: It has long been known that psychopathology can influence social perception, but a 2D framework of mind perception provides the opportunity for an integrative understanding of some disorders. We examined the covariation of mind perception with three subclinical syndromes--autism-spectrum disorder, schizotypy, and psychopathy--and found that each presents a unique mind-perception profile. Autism-spectrum disorder involves reduced perception of agency in adult humans. Schizotypy involves increased perception of both agency and experience in entities generally thought to lack minds. Psychopathy involves reduced perception of experience in adult humans, children, and animals. Disorders are differentially linked with the over- or underperception of agency and experience in a way that helps explain their real-world consequences.
Project description:Previous research suggests that how people conceive of minds depends on the culture in which they live, both in determining how they interact with other human minds and how they infer the unseen minds of gods. We use exploratory factor analysis to compare how people from different societies with distinct models of human minds and different religious traditions perceive the minds of humans and gods. In two North American samples (American adults, N = 186; Canadian students, N = 202), we replicated a previously found two-factor agency/experience structure for both human and divine minds, but in Fijian samples (Indigenous iTaukei Fijians, N = 77; Fijians of Indian descent, N = 214; total N = 679) we found a three-factor structure, with the additional containing items related to social relationships. Further, Fijians' responses revealed a different three-factor structure for human minds and gods' minds. We used these factors as dimensions in the conception of minds to predict (a) expectations about human and divine tendencies towards punishment and reward; and (b) conception of gods as more embodied (an extension of experience) or more able to know people's thoughts (an extension of agency). We found variation in how these factors predict conceptions of agents across groups, indicating further theory is needed to explain how culturally generated concepts of mind lead to other sorts of social inferences. We conclude that mind perception is shaped by culturally defined social expectations and recommend further work in different cultural contexts to examine the interplay between culture and social cognition.
Project description:Psychological research has revealed that people attribute mental states to groups such as companies, especially to those groups that are highly entitative. Moreover, attributing a mind to a group results in the decreased attribution of mind to individual group members. Recent research has demonstrated that the minds of others are perceived in two dimensions-agency and experience. The present study investigated the possibility that this two-dimensional structure exists in mind attribution to groups, and group entitativity has different patterns of relations with these dimensions. A vignette experiment revealed that highly entitative groups were attributed both agency and experience to greater degrees compared to non-entitative groups, while group entitativity reduced only the attribution of agency to the individual group members. Individual members were attributed an equivalent amount of experience regardless of group entitativity. Mind attribution to individual members showed an unpredicted third factor of other-recognition, which was positively related to group entitativity. The implications of mind attribution to moral issues were discussed.
Project description:Throughout our species history, humans have created pictures. The resulting picture record reveals an overwhelming preference for depicting things with minds. This preference suggests that pictures capture something of the mind that is significant to us, albeit at reduced potency. Here, we show that abstraction dims the perceived mind, even within the same picture. In a series of experiments, people were perceived as more real, and higher in both Agency (ability to do) and Experience (ability to feel), when they were presented as pictures than when they were presented as pictures of pictures. This pattern persisted across different tasks and even when comparators were matched for identity and image size. Viewers spontaneously discriminated between different levels of abstraction during eye tracking and were less willing to share money with a more abstracted person in a dictator game. Given that mind perception underpins moral judgement, our findings suggest that depicted persons will receive greater or lesser ethical consideration, depending on the level of abstraction.
Project description:Three experiments investigated the influence of penile erection on ascriptions of mental capabilities to men. Drawing on sexual objectification literature and the distinction between agency and experience in mind perception, three competing predictions were formulated. The mind redistribution hypothesis assumed that penile erection would lower agency and heighten experience attributions, the animalistic dehumanization hypothesis predicted the decrease in agency, but not experience, and the literal objectification hypothesis implied the simultaneous decrease in both agency and experience. In Experiment 1 (N?=?219; 128 females), erection salience lowered agency, but not experience capabilities ascribed to male targets. Experiment 2 (N?=?201, 113 females) replicated the negative effect of erection salience on perceived agency (but not experience) and revealed that erection salience lowered intentions to hire a male target. This effect was explained with the loss of perceived agency. Experiment 3 (N?=?203, 98 females) verified the causal relationship between penile erection, agency and hiring intentions. Taken together, these results supported the animalistic dehumanization hypothesis.
Project description:The perception of robots as mindful enriches how humans relate to them. Given that congruence in perceived representations of the world enable humans to experience commonality in mental states (a shared reality), we propose that congruence between humans, and robots will encourage humans to attribute humanlike mental capacities to robots. To investigate this, we assessed the mental perceptions of a robot in a visual imagination task using Gray et al. mind perception scale, which evaluates experience (capacity to feel), and agency (capacity to plan and do). For each ambiguous picture in the designed task, humans, and a robot imagined an animal. The task was performed under six conditions (2 × 3: Lead/Follow for Low/Medium/High). In the Lead condition, the robot records its perceived animal first; in the Follow condition, the robot records after the human participant. The experiment had three different degrees of congruence: Low (0%), Medium (60%), and High (100%). The results showed that perceived experiences were higher in the Lead condition, suggesting that the robot is perceived to be empathetic. It is probable that the Follow condition was perceived as mimicry rather than shared reality. Therefore, the order of response may have played an important role in commonality in mental states. No differences were observed in the perceived agency across all conditions. These results suggest that the order of response affects how humans perceive the minds of robots. Additionally, we assessed a post-task questionnaire to evaluate the interpersonal closeness that the humans felt toward the android. The main effect was observed in the degrees of congruence. This result is in line with those of previous studies that report relationships across sharing of similarities and friendliness.
Project description:Previous behavioural data indicate lower word-nonword recognition accuracy in association with a high level of positive schizotypy, psychopathy, or motor impulsivity traits, each with some unique contribution, in the general population. This study aimed to examine the neural underpinnings of these associations using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a volunteer sample. Twenty-two healthy English-speaking adults completed self-report measures of schizotypy (Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences [O-LIFE]), psychopathy (Triarchic Psychopathy Measure [TriPM]), and impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale [BIS-11]) and underwent whole-brain fMRI while performing a lexical decision task (LDT) featuring high and low-frequency words, real nonwords, and pseudohomophones. Higher positive schizotypy (Unusual Experiences) was associated with lower cerebellum activity during identification of low-frequency words (over real nonwords). Higher Boldness (fearless dominance) and Meanness (callous aggression) facets of psychopathy were associated with lower striatal and posterior cingulate activity when identifying nonwords over words. Higher Motor Impulsivity was associated with lower activity in the fusiform (bilaterally), inferior frontal (right-sided), and temporal gyri (bilaterally) across all stimuli-types over resting baseline. Positive schizotypy, psychopathy, and impulsivity traits influence word-nonword recognition through distinct neurocognitive mechanisms. Positive schizotypy and psychopathy appear to influence LDT performance through brain areas that play only a supportive (cerebellum) or indirect role in reading-related skills. The negative association between Motor Impulsivity and activations typically found for phonological processing and automatic word identification indicates a reduced bilateral integration of the meaning and sound of mental word representations, and inability to select the appropriate outputs, in impulsive individuals.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4> Some studies suggest that lexical recognition is impaired in people with schizophrenia, psychopathy and/or antisocial personality disorders, but not affective disorders. We examined the extent to which various traits dimensionally linked to one or more of these disorders are associated with lexical recognition performance in the general population. <h4>Methods</h4> Seventy-eight healthy English-speaking participants completed self-report measures of schizotypy, psychopathy, impulsivity, depression, anxiety and stress. All participants were assessed on a one-choice variant of a lexical decision task (LDT). <h4>Results</h4> Meanness and Boldness traits of psychopathy (Triarchic Psychopathy Measure), and positive schizotypy (Unusual Experiences, Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences) were associated with poor word-nonword accuracy, and predicted a significant amount of unique variance (Meanness, 12%; Boldness, 4.8%; Positive Schizotypy, 4.4%; total 21%) in performance. Higher motor impulsivity predicted 30% of the variance in low-frequency words recognition accuracy, but only in non-native English speakers. Affective traits were not associated with LDT performance. <h4>Conclusion</h4> Psychopathic traits show stronger negative associations with lexical recognition performance than schizotypal traits, and impulsivity may differently influence lexical decision performance in native and non-native speakers. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings, especially the influence of language familiarity in the impulsivity-performance relationship, and to clarify the influence of corresponding symptom dimensions in lexical recognition abilities, taking language familiarity, migration status, and comorbidity into account, in people with schizophrenia, psychopathy, and/or antisocial personality disorders.
Project description:Individuals with autism spectrum disorder and individuals with schizophrenia have impaired social and communication skills. They also have altered auditory perception. This study investigated autistic traits and schizotypy in a non-clinical population as well as the excitation-inhibition (EI) balance in different brain regions and their auditory multistable perception. Thirty-four healthy participants were assessed by the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). The EI balance was evaluated by measuring the resting-state concentrations of glutamate-glutamine (Glx) and ϒ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in vivo by using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. To observe the correlation between their traits and perception, we conducted an auditory streaming task and a verbal transformation task, in which participants reported spontaneous perceptual switching while listening to a sound sequence. Their AQ and SPQ scores were positively correlated with the Glx/GABA ratio in the auditory cortex but not in the frontal areas. These scores were negatively correlated with the number of perceptual switches in the verbal transformation task but not in the auditory streaming task. Our results suggest that the EI balance in the auditory cortex and the perceptual formation of speech are involved in autistic traits and schizotypy.
Project description:A marked lack of empathy is a hallmark characteristic of individuals with psychopathy. However, neural processes associated with empathic processing have not yet been directly examined in psychopathy, especially in response to the perception of other people in pain and distress.To identify potential differences in patterns of neural activity in incarcerated individuals with psychopathy and incarcerated persons serving as controls during the perception of empathy-eliciting stimuli depicting other people experiencing pain.In a case-control study, brain activation patterns elicited by dynamic stimuli depicting individuals being harmed and facial expressions of pain were compared between incarcerated individuals with psychopathy and incarcerated controls.Participants were scanned on the grounds of a correctional facility using the Mind Research Network's mobile 1.5-T magnetic resonance imaging system.Eighty incarcerated men were classified according to scores on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) as high (27 men; PCL-R, ?30), intermediate (28 men; PCL-R, 21-29), or low (25 men; PCL-R, ?20) levels of psychopathy.Neurohemodynamic response to empathy-eliciting dynamic scenarios revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging.Participants in the psychopathy group exhibited significantly less activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, lateral orbitofrontal cortex, and periaqueductal gray relative to controls but showed greater activation in the insula, which was positively correlated with scores on both PCL-R factors 1 and 2.In response to pain and distress cues expressed by others, individuals with psychopathy exhibit deficits in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex regardless of stimulus type and display selective impairment in processing facial cues of distress in regions associated with cognitive mentalizing. A better understanding of the neural responses to empathy-eliciting stimuli in psychopathy is necessary to inform intervention programs.
Project description:Preliminary evidence suggests that theory of mind and empathy relate differentially to factors of schizotypy. The current study assessed 686 undergraduate students and used structural equation modeling to examine links between a four-factor model of schizotypy with performance on measures of theory of mind (Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test [MIE]) and empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index [IRI]). Schizotypy was assessed using three self-report measures which were simultaneously entered into the model. Results revealed that the Negative factor of schizotypy showed a negative relationship with the Empathy factor, which was primarily driven by the Empathic Concern subscale of the IRI and the No Close Friends and Constricted Affect subscales of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire. These findings are consistent with a growing body of literature suggesting a relatively specific relationship between negative schizotypy and empathy, and are consistent with several previous studies that found no relationship between MIE performance and schizotypy.