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Perceptions of intentionality for goal-related action: behavioral description matters.

Monroe AE, Reeder GD, James L - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We propose that people parse intentionality into two categories: judgments about concrete, low-level behaviors and judgments about relatively more abstract, high-level behaviors.Evidence from five studies supports this distinction.In contrast, judgments about the intentionality of high-level behaviors varied depending on social context and mental states, supporting the systematic view of intentionality.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Perceptions of intentionality critically guide everyday social interactions, though the literature provides diverging portraits of how such judgments are made. One view suggests that people have an "intentionality bias," predisposing them toward labeling behaviors as intentional. A second view focuses on a more complex pattern of reasoning whereby judgments of intentionality are shaped by information about social context and mental states. Drawing on the theory of action-identification, we attempt to integrate these two perspectives. We propose that people parse intentionality into two categories: judgments about concrete, low-level behaviors and judgments about relatively more abstract, high-level behaviors. Evidence from five studies supports this distinction. Low-level behaviors were perceived as intentional regardless of mental state information, supporting the "intentionality bias" view. In contrast, judgments about the intentionality of high-level behaviors varied depending on social context and mental states, supporting the systematic view of intentionality.

No MeSH data available.


Intentionality judgments for low-level and high-level behavior descriptions as a function of motive and causal chain manipulations.Error bars = ±1 SE.
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pone.0119841.g003: Intentionality judgments for low-level and high-level behavior descriptions as a function of motive and causal chain manipulations.Error bars = ±1 SE.

Mentions: A 2 (causal chain) x 2 (motive) x 2 (low vs. high-level behavior description) mixed-model ANOVA tested the effects of the causal chain and motive manipulations on judgments of intentionality. We replicated the effects from the previous two studies (see Fig. 3). Overall, low-level behaviors (M = 6.15 SD = 1.46) were perceived as more intentional than high-level behaviors (M = 3.40 SD = 2.46), F(1, 292) = 593.8, p < .001, partial d = 1.36. Also, there was a significant effect of the agent’s motives on intentionality, F(1, 292) = 180.3, p < .001, d = 1.56. When the agent had a motive (i.e., he wanted to kill the uncle) that matched the lethal outcome, he was judged as acting intentionally (M = 5.63 SD = 1.14); but when he had a motive (i.e., wanting to help the uncle get better) that did not match the lethal outcome he was judged as acting unintentionally (M = 3.85 SD = 1.14).


Perceptions of intentionality for goal-related action: behavioral description matters.

Monroe AE, Reeder GD, James L - PLoS ONE (2015)

Intentionality judgments for low-level and high-level behavior descriptions as a function of motive and causal chain manipulations.Error bars = ±1 SE.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4362945&req=5

pone.0119841.g003: Intentionality judgments for low-level and high-level behavior descriptions as a function of motive and causal chain manipulations.Error bars = ±1 SE.
Mentions: A 2 (causal chain) x 2 (motive) x 2 (low vs. high-level behavior description) mixed-model ANOVA tested the effects of the causal chain and motive manipulations on judgments of intentionality. We replicated the effects from the previous two studies (see Fig. 3). Overall, low-level behaviors (M = 6.15 SD = 1.46) were perceived as more intentional than high-level behaviors (M = 3.40 SD = 2.46), F(1, 292) = 593.8, p < .001, partial d = 1.36. Also, there was a significant effect of the agent’s motives on intentionality, F(1, 292) = 180.3, p < .001, d = 1.56. When the agent had a motive (i.e., he wanted to kill the uncle) that matched the lethal outcome, he was judged as acting intentionally (M = 5.63 SD = 1.14); but when he had a motive (i.e., wanting to help the uncle get better) that did not match the lethal outcome he was judged as acting unintentionally (M = 3.85 SD = 1.14).

Bottom Line: We propose that people parse intentionality into two categories: judgments about concrete, low-level behaviors and judgments about relatively more abstract, high-level behaviors.Evidence from five studies supports this distinction.In contrast, judgments about the intentionality of high-level behaviors varied depending on social context and mental states, supporting the systematic view of intentionality.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Perceptions of intentionality critically guide everyday social interactions, though the literature provides diverging portraits of how such judgments are made. One view suggests that people have an "intentionality bias," predisposing them toward labeling behaviors as intentional. A second view focuses on a more complex pattern of reasoning whereby judgments of intentionality are shaped by information about social context and mental states. Drawing on the theory of action-identification, we attempt to integrate these two perspectives. We propose that people parse intentionality into two categories: judgments about concrete, low-level behaviors and judgments about relatively more abstract, high-level behaviors. Evidence from five studies supports this distinction. Low-level behaviors were perceived as intentional regardless of mental state information, supporting the "intentionality bias" view. In contrast, judgments about the intentionality of high-level behaviors varied depending on social context and mental states, supporting the systematic view of intentionality.

No MeSH data available.