The role of domain-general and mentalizing processes in spontaneous visual perspective-taking

PESIMENA, Gabriele (2022). The role of domain-general and mentalizing processes in spontaneous visual perspective-taking. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

Pesimena_2022_PhD_RoleDomain-General.pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (9MB) | Preview
Link to published version::


We cannot help but be influenced by the presence of others. Even when the others are not actively engaging with us, their mere view interferes with our focus hindering our actions or tasks. Two accounts have advanced an explanation of the processes underlying this interference effect. On one hand, this interference has been explained in terms of the implicit mentalizing process, a social process, thanks to which people can fast and unconsciously process others’ visual perspectives. On the other hand, a second interpretation, known as sub-mentalizing, explains the interference by means of low-level domain-general cognitive processes such as involuntary attentional orienting driven by the other’s directional features. By employing for the first time a set of bi-directional cues, it was possible to isolate the social features of the others and measure their relative contribution in generating this interference effect. The results of a series of experiments suggested that both mentalizing and low-level domain-general processes may be behind this phenomenon laying the basis of a novel interpretative model of the interference effect which provides a comprehensive framework for understanding this phenomenon. The novel model encompasses both interpretations by comprising two fast involuntary processes: an automatic attentional orienting process driven by the directional features of others; and a spontaneous mentalizing process driven by the social relevance and intentionality of others. The model also includes a voluntary decisional response selection process that modulates the interference depending on task demands and working memory resources.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Soranzo, Alessandro [0000-0002-4445-1968]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Alessandro Soranzo
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > International Business, Economics, SMEs and Entrepreneurship
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2023 15:19
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2023 01:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics