Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Nonhuman agents are sometimes attributed humanlike characteristics, particularly mental states of thoughts, feelings, intentions, and conscious experience. Because such anthropomorphism emerges early in life and continues through adulthood in at least some cultures, it may appear to be an innate and automatic phenomenon. However, the psychological processes that enable people to reason about the minds of others suggests that such inferences require cognitive effort and motivation, meaning that anthropomorphism arises only when triggered by one's goals or the situational context to consider the mind of another agent. These triggers identify important moderators of anthropomorphism in adulthood, providing insight into when people are likely to attribute humanlike minds to nonhuman agents and when they are not.

Keywords: anthropomorphism, mind perception, social cognition, theory of mind

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.