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Marsden Grant – Cross-cultural Patterns in Theory of Mind

Tuesday 5 November 2019 11:54am

Cross-cultural Patterns in Theory of Mind: Using text analytics to identify structure and variation in mental state attributions in the Pacific

We are very pleased to announce that Dr Joseph Watts was awarded a Marsden Fast-start grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The ability to understand the mental states of others is central to human life. Explanations about the cognitive basis of this ability make different predictions about how mental state attributions vary across cultures.

This project will use text analytics to build a database of mental state attributions in Pacific cultures. This database will be used to identify the structure and variation in mental state attributions across cultures, and test how ecological and cultural factors explain variation. This will show how Pacific cultures expand our understanding of human psychology and how text analysis can identify structure and variation in human cognition.

Dr Joseph Watts’ research site