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Title page for ETD etd-04112011-031022

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Herberg, Jonathan
Author's Email Address jonathan.s.herberg@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-04112011-031022
Title Representing Social Agents, Actions, and Knowledge States at Separate Levels of Explicitness
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Megan Saylor Committee Chair
Daniel Levin Committee Member
Gautam Biswas Committee Member
John Rieser Committee Member
  • Action Analysis
  • Theory-of-Mind
  • Simulation
  • Social Cognition
Date of Defense 2011-03-24
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation first sketches a framework integrating various processes that have been proposed to account for the human capacity for action perception and analysis. The framework is then applied to interpreting two sets of experiments. In the first set I investigate how automatic simulation processes function in predicting reaches from perceiving gazes. In the second set I test the costs versus benefits to one's learning from the deliberate reasoning about a social agent's knowledge states, and the consequent social highlighting behaviors one engages in, when demonstrating an action. Taken together, these studies suggest roles as well as limitations for automatic simulation and deliberate inferential reasoning in action perception and understanding.
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