Timescale Bias in the Attribution of Mind

Carey K. Morewedge, Jesse Preston, Daniel M. Wegner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this research, the authors found that people use speed of movement to infer the presence of mind and mental attributes such as intention, consciousness, thought, and intelligence in other persons, animals, and objects. Participants in 4 studies exhibited timescale bias-perceiving human and nonhuman targets (animals, robots, and animations) as more likely to possess mental states when those targets moved at speeds similar to the speed of natural human movement, compared with when targets performed actions at speeds faster or slower than the speed of natural human movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • attribution
  • mind
  • movement
  • speed
  • theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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