This chapter on mind perception reviews social cognitive research on how individual perceivers draw inferences about the beliefs, desires, intentions, and feelings of others around them, a process that is at once remarkable and nearly ubiquitous. We begin by examining how perceivers do this, discussing research on various inferential sources, including reading situations, faces, behavior, social groups, and the self. We also discuss accounts that address how perceivers might shift between these inferential sources, such as embracing stereotyping in lieu of social projection or vice versa. We then turn to how well perceivers read minds, reviewing research on biases and distortions and well as work casting people as adept mindreaders. We go on to examine potential sources of validity, including "good" judges, targets, and data. Lastly, we consider scholarship in several specific domains where mind reading comes to life, including cultural contexts, intergroup relations, and interpersonal conflict.
Ames, Daniel, and Malia Mason. "Mind Perception." In The Sage Handbook of Social Cognition. Ed. S. Fiske and N. Macrae. New York: SAGE (forthcoming).
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