Psych 105-ucsb-fall-2011-lecture 8-ch 09_Supernatural

Psych 105-ucsb-fall-2011-lecture 8-ch 09_Supernatural - The...

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1 The supernatural world The Supernatural World: – why do we believe the unbelievable? 1. We over-extend the property of agency to non agents… leading to ‘anthropomorphism’ 2. ‘Essentialism’ enables us to treat some objects as ‘special’ 3. ‘Dualist’ beliefs allow us to belief in an afterlife 4. Concepts of supernatural entities are built by combining information from different domains 5. Evidence that adult concepts of Gods are based on their everyday ‘person’ concept ‘secular’ ‘spiritual/ religious’ 1. Overextending concepts of agency to non animate things … ‘anthropomorphism’ Our tendency to attribute goals, beliefs and desires to entities which do not literally have them . Idea that this might stem from a natural human tendency for the quick and rapid detection of animacy and agency… and an advantage for ‘false alarms’ over ‘misses’. Infants make an early separation of the kinds things that might be animate: Recall (again) that infants imitate the goals of a person but not the movements of a machine. But how do they make the distinction between animate and inanimate? Infants will engage in social behaviors with non human entities so long as they display some of these features for example… what kind of thing can elicit gaze following ? There is evidence that we use the presence of certain sets of features to detect social agency including… Faces (e.g. structural bias to look at faces from birth) Patterns of contingent interaction Contingency/ face cues to social agency in 12-month olds • Infants shown novel object
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Psych 105-ucsb-fall-2011-lecture 8-ch 09_Supernatural - The...

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