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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The “self” is often conceptualized as a centrally located decision-making system that generates cognitive inferences about the mental states of others via direct observation of behavior. The “self” then uses the theory of mind to generate social behaviors that are judged to be either prosocial or antisocial. We perceive others in terms of plans, not behaviors, perceiving others in terms of plans renders our behavior immensely vulnerable to the behaviors of others, the “self” must continuously regulate who will be granted access to one’s planning, and the regulating “self” emerges developmentally out of our persistent interactions with others as emergent cortical inhibition provides us the ability to inhibit socially primed actions. This “embodied other,” regulating “self” does not cause behaviors as much as it constrains them and is distributed across action, cognition and perception. Collectively, these findings indicate that assessing the prosocial quality of behavior is a contextually grounded, multiscale task for both the behaving “self” and the interested scholar.

Keywords: Theory of Mind, embodiment, entrainment, ostracism

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