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Psychology

Theses/Dissertations

Emotion

University of Pennsylvania

2019

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Attributions Of Mental State Control: Causes And Consequences, Corey Cusimano Jan 2019

Attributions Of Mental State Control: Causes And Consequences, Corey Cusimano

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

A popular thesis in psychology holds that ordinary people judge others’ mental states to be uncontrollable, unintentional, or otherwise involuntary. The present research challenges this thesis and documents how attributions of mental state control affect social decision making, predict policy preferences, and fuel conflict in close relationships. In Chapter 1, I show that lay people by-and-large attribute intentional control to others over their mental states. Additionally, I provide causal evidence that these attributions of control predict judgments of responsibility as well as decisions to confront and reprimand someone for having an objectionable attitude. By overturning a common misconception about how ...