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Stanford scholars probe how Americans think about mental life

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Image credit: PhonlamaiPhon / Getty Images
Oct 20 2017
Awards, Fellow, Research, Stanford

When Stanford researchers asked people to think about the sensations and emotions of inanimate or non-human entities, they got a glimpse into how those people think about mental life.

What they found is that Americans break mental life into three parts – body, heart and mind – a finding that challenges earlier research on this topic and could have important implications for understanding people’s social interactions and moral judgments. The findings were published Oct. 11 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author Kara Weisman is a 2013 William R. and Sara Hart Kimball Fellow. Co-author Carol Dweck is an EDGE faculty mentor.