Term of Award

Summer 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Nicholas Holtzman

Committee Member 1

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 2

Ty Boyer


Mind perception involves attributing cognitive abilities and the capacity for experience to other entities (e.g., the dog remembered something). This novel concept has implications for personality, social, and clinical research that have yet to be examined. The relationships between mind perception and various types of psychopathology—autism, psychopathy, and schizotypy—have been revealed by Gray, Gray and Wegner (2011); however, mind perception has yet to be properly investigated with respect to everyday personality. Workers (N = 180) from Amazon Mechanical Turk completed measures of personality, psychopathology, and mind perception. Results from Gray et al. (2011) were not entirely replicated; however, the Big Five personality trait agreeableness was informative. Agreeableness was correlated with high attribution of cognitive abilities, and accounted for a large amount of variance in mind perception—even more than any of the three aforementioned varieties of psychopathology. This finding adds to the literature on personality and morality by showing that low agreeableness, a personality trait strongly related to violence, involves abnormally low levels of attributing mind to living and nonliving entities.