This timely and important collection broadens our understanding of the ways in which lay theories (also known as folk psychologies, implicit theories, naïve theories, or mindsets) impact our lives and social relations. Moving well beyond lay theories as applied to intelligence and achievement, this volume considers lay theories in an admirably wide context, including perspectives on prejudice, creativity, self-regulation, health, free will, justice, magic, religion and more. Eminent and emerging scholars alike provide a comprehensive overview that presents and synthesizes cutting edge contemporary research on lay theories, spanning social, cognitive, developmental, cultural, and clinical psychology.
Structurally, this volume is organized in three parts. Beginning with a preface by renowned scholar Carol Dweck, the first part looks at the origins and nature of lay theories, and how malleable they are. The second part explores lay theories about common psychological phenomena. The third section discusses lay theories about the metaphysical or supernatural. Finally, the last section explores the important question of how lay theories impact health and health behavior. Taken together, the chapters provide an integrative survey of the science of lay theories, bringing together many perspectives that previously have been studied largely in isolation. This volume is more than the sum of its parts-perspectives from different strands of research provide insights that cut across research disciplines, making novel connections and prompting new directions for this field of study. Shedding light on how our beliefs shape all facets of our lives,
The Science of Lay Theories: How Beliefs Shape Our Cognition, Behavior, and Health
will appeal to researchers and practitioners in psychology, as well as philosophers, cognitive and developmental neuroscientists, religious scholars, sociologists, and anthropologists.
It is very rare to say of an edited volume of scholarly chapters "I couldn't put it down!" Yet that was the case with this book. It's not just that I have worked in this field for many years, but rather, with every chapter I felt I was gaining new insights into what, deep down, people really believe and how these beliefs influence their lives-Carol Dweck, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Dr. Claire Zedelius is working as a postdoctoral researcher in Jonathan Schooler's META (Memory, Emotion, Thought, Awareness) lab. One of her research lines examines the effects of mind wandering or daydreaming on different aspects of creativity. Another line of her research focuses on the roles of meta-awareness and meta-cognitive beliefs in mind wandering. Claire did her dissertation research at the social psychology department at Utrecht University (the Netherlands), where she worked with Henk Aarts studying conscious and unconscious processes in human reward pursuit.
Dr. Barbara Müller is an Assistant Professor at the Communication Science department of the Behavioural Science Institute at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. In her work, she investigates the developmental and neurocognitive mechanisms of human/robot interactions, and how these interactions can be improved. Her second line of research focuses on social influence in health communication. She is particularly interested in how people can convince themselves to adopt a healthy lifestyle, instead of being convinced by someone else. Barbara did her dissertation research at Radboud University, where she worked with Rick van Baaren and Ap Dijksterhuis on action co-representation of non-biological actions.
Dr. Jonathan Schooler is a Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara. He oversees the META lab and is the Director of UCSB's Center for Mindfulness and Human Potential. Jonathan pursues research on consciousness, memory, the relationship between language and thought, problem-solving, and decision-making. He is particularly interested in exploring phenomena that intersect between the empirical and the philosophical such as how fluctuations in people's awareness of their experience mediate mind-wandering and how people's theories about the mind influence how they behave.
Preface: Lay theories beyond intelligence, a bigger picture perspective by Carol Dweck
Table of Contents Part I: The origins and nature of lay theoriesChapter 1. The Origins of Lay Theories: The Case of Essentialist Beliefsby Nick Haslam Chapter 2. The Motivated Fluidity of Lay Theories of Changeby Anne E. Wilson and Jaslyn A. English Part II: Explorations in lay theories about human psychological attributes or phenomenaChapter 3. Lay Theories of Self-Control by Veronika Job and Gregory M. Walton Chapter 4. What are People's Lay Theories about Mind Wandering and How do Those Beliefs Affect Them? by Claire M. Zedelius and Jonathan W. Schooler Chapter 5. Lay Theories of Creativity by Simone Ritter, and Eric Rietzschel Chapter 6. Mindsets about Malleability and Intergroup Relations by Aneeta Rattan, and Oriane Georgeac Chapter 7. Effects of Lay Beliefs on the Justice Motive by Michèlle Bal, and Kees van den BosPart III: Insights into lay theories about the metaphysical or supernatural Chapter 8. Antecedents, Manifestations, and Consequences of Belief in Mind-Body Dualism by Matthias Forstmann, and Pascal Burgmer Chapter 9. Lay Theories of the Mind/Brain Relationship and the Allure of Neuroscience by Diego Fernandez-Duque Chapter 10. Causes and Consequences of the Belief in Free Will by Davide Rigoni, Axel Cleeremans, and Marcel Brass Chapter 11. Religion and its Cultural Evolutionary By-Products by Kristin Laurin Chapter 12. From the Impossible to the Improbable: A Probabilistic Account of Magical Beliefs and Practices Across Development and Cultures by Martin Fortier and Sunae KimPart IV: Investigation of lay theories about mental and physical healthChapter 13. Mindsets of Body-Weight by Jeni L. Burnette, Crystal L. Hoyt, and Kasey Orvidas Chapter 14. Lay Theories and Metaphors of Health and Illness by David J. Hauser, Randolph M. Nesse, and Norbert Schwarz Chapter 15. How Lay Theories Influence our Mental Health by Adrian Furnham