Behavioral circumscription and the folk psychology of belief: A study in ethno‐mentalizing

David ROSE, Edouard MACHERY, Stephen STICH, Mario ALAI, Adriano ANGELUCCI, Renatas BERNIŪNAS, Emma Ellen Kathrina BUCHTEL, Amita CHATTERJEE, Hyundeuk CHEON, In‐Rae CHO, Daniel COHNITZ, Florian COVA, Vilius DRANSEIKA, Ángeles Eraña LAGOS, Laleh GHADAKPOUR, Maurice GRINBERG, Ivar HANNIKAINEN, Takaaki HASHIMOTO, Amir HOROWITZ, Evgeniya HRISTOVAYasmina JRAISSATI, Veselina KADREVA, Kaori KARASAWA, Hackjin KIM, Yeonjeong KIM, Minwoo LEE, Carlos MAURO, Masaharu MIZUMOTO, Sebastiano MORUZZI, Christopher Y. OLIVOLA, Jorge ORNELAS, Barbara OSIMANI, Carlos ROMERO, Alejandro ROSAS, Massimo SANGOI, Andrea SERENI, Sarah SONGHORIAN, Paulo SOUSA, Noel STRUCHINER, Vera TRIPODI, Naoki USUI, Alejandro Vázquez DEL MERCADO, Giorgio VOLPE, Hrag A. VOSGERICHIAN, Xueyi ZHANG, Jing ZHU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Is behavioral integration (i.e., which occurs when a subject's assertion that p matches her nonverbal behavior) a necessary feature of belief in folk psychology? Our data from over 5,000 people across 26 samples, spanning 22 countries suggests that it is not. Given the surprising cross‐cultural robustness of our findings, we argue that the types of evidence for the ascription of a belief are, at least in some circumstances, lexicographically ordered: assertions are first taken into account, and when an agent sincerely asserts that p, nonlinguistic behavioral evidence is disregarded. In light of this, we take ourselves to have discovered a universal principle governing the ascription of beliefs in folk psychology. Copyright © 2017 The Thought Trust and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-203
Issue number3
Early online dateAug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Rose, D., Machery, E., Stich, S., Alai, M., Angelucci, A., Berniūnas, R., . . . Zhu, J. (2017). Behavioral circumscription and the folk psychology of belief: A study in ethno‐mentalizing. Thought, 6(3), 193-203. doi: 10.1002/tht3.248


  • Behavioral circumscription
  • Folk psychology
  • Belief
  • Cross-cultural
  • Delusions


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