Modeling the Perception of Intentions


Attributing intentions to others based on observations of their behavior is a core cognitive ability. It is also a necessary precursor to social judgments such as judgments about responsibility and morality. The seminal work of Heider and Simmel (1944) highlighted the spontaneity, richness, and range of intention attributions that can be elicited by a stimulus as impoverished as moving geometric figures. Subsequent research has revealed a wide range of visuospatial cues that suggest specific intentions as well as observer attributes that influence judgments. How are such cues and observer attributes integrated into an inferred specific intention? A handful of processing models have used frameworks such as schema-matching or probabilistic inference to integrate such cues. This workshop will address two questions: 1) How have different fundamental paradigms fared in the quest for a model of human intention perception? and 2) What questions about this topic are most in need of answers?

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