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Kara Weisman

[email: kgweisman at gmail] [twitter: @kgweisman] [cv: pdf]

I study intuitive theories, conceptual change, and folk philosophy of mind, with particular attention to the ways these conceptual representations do and do not vary across development, across cultural settings, and across individuals. I am currently the postdoctoral project director for the Developing Belief Network.

Publications

Click here to view my full CV. Analysis code for most studies is available on Github. Please email me with questions, comments, and ideas.

Journal Articles

  1. Weisman, K., Legare, C.H., Smith, R.E., Dzokoto, V.A., Aulino, F., Ng, E., Dulin, J.D., Ross-Zehnder, N., Brahinsky, J.D., & Luhrmann, T.M. (in press). Similarities and differences in concepts of mental life among adults and children in five cultures. Nature Human Behaviour. [github repo] [link] [open-access link] [PDF] [Supplemental Info] [News & Views piece by Bertram Malle]

  2. Van Leeuwen, N., Weisman, K., & Luhrmann, T.M. (2021). To believe is not to think: A cross-cultural finding. Open Mind: Discoveries in Cognitive Science. [github repo] [link]

  3. Erickson-Davis, C., Bailenson, J., Corwin, A., Kurina, L., Weisman, K., & Luhrmann, T.M. (2021). The sense of presence: Lessons from virtual reality. Religion, Brain, & Behavior. [link] [pdf]

  4. Luhrmann, T.M.*, Weisman, K.*, Aulino, F., Brahinsky, J.D., Dulin, J.C., Dzokoto, V.A., Legare, C.H., Lifshitz, M., Ng., E., Ross-Zehnder, N., & Smith, R.E. (2021). Sensing the presence of gods and spirits across cultures and faiths. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(5), e2016649118. [*joint first authors] [github repo] [link] [pdf] [Supplemental Info] [Discussion on “Many Minds” podcast]

  5. Weisman, K.*, & Luhrmann, T.M.* (2020). What anthropologists can learn from psychologists, and the other way around. Mind and Spirit: A comparative theory about representation of mind and the experience of spirit; a special issue of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 26(S1). [*joint first authors] [link] [pdf]

  6. Roberts, S.O., Weisman, K., Lane, J.D., Williams, A., Camp, N.P., Wang, M., Robison, M., Sanchez, K., & Griffiths, C. (2020). God as a White man: A psychological barrier to conceptualizing Black people and women as leadership worthy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 119(6), 1290-1315. [link] [pdf]

  7. Weisman, K., Dweck, C.S., & Markman, E.M. (2017). Rethinking people’s conceptions of mental life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(43), 11374-11379. [link] [pdf]

  8. Weisman, K., & Markman, E.M. (2017). Theory-based explanation as intervention. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 24(5), 1555-1562. [link] [pdf]

  9. Kim, S., Kalish, C.W., Weisman, K., Johnson, M.V., & Shutts, K. (2016). Young children choose to inform previously knowledgeable others. Journal of Cognition and Development, 17(2), 320-340. [link] [pdf]

  10. Weisman, K., Johnson, M.V., & Shutts, K. (2015). Young children’s automatic encoding of social categories. Developmental Science, 18(6), 1036-1043. [link] [pdf] [FAQs]

  11. Olson, K.R., Shutts, K., Kinzler, K.D., & Weisman, K.G. (2012). Children associate racial groups with wealth: Evidence from South Africa. Child Development, 83(6), 1884-1899. [link] [pdf]

Articles Under Review

  1. Weisman, K. (under review). Machines with minds: Beliefs about the mental lives of robots and implications for human social reasoning.

  2. Weisman, K., King, L.S., & Humphreys, K.L. (under review). Beliefs about the development of mental life. [github repo, including fully reproducible manuscript and supplemental materials]

  3. Luhrmann, T.M., & Weisman, K. (invited submission under review). Porosity is the heart of religion.

  4. Richert, R.A., Weisman, K., Lesage, K.A., Ghossainy, M.E., Reyes-Jaquez, B., & Corriveau, K. (invited submission under review). Researching the development of religious beliefs and behaviors.

  5. Powell, D., Weisman, K., & Markman, E.M. (submitted). Modeling and leveraging intuitive theories to improve vaccine attitudes. [github repo, including fully reproducible manuscript and supplemental materials]

  6. Salo, V.C., Letterie, M.C., Weisman, K., King, L.S., & Humphreys, K.L. (submitted). Perceptions of children’s mental capacities and self-reported parenting behavior. [preprint]

Dissertation

Weisman (2019). The development of conceptual representations of mental life. [link] [pdf] [4000 word précis]

Sketches of my defense by Natalia Vélez @natvelali:

Natvelali sketch part 1 Natvelali sketch part 2

Other Preprints

  1. Weisman, K.. Toward a representative and rigorous science of the mind: Notes from a young psychologist on the Mind & Spirit Project. [preprint]

Refereed Conference Papers

  1. Weisman, K., Dweck, C.S., & Markman, E.M. (2021). Emotions as the product of body and mind: The hierarchical structure of folk concepts of mental life among US adults and children. Poster presented at CogSci 2021 (virtual meeting) and included in the Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [link to paper] [poster]

  2. Van Leeuwen, N., Weisman, K., & Luhrmann, T.M. (2020). “Think” and “believe” across cultures: A shared folk distinction between two cognitive attitudes in the US, Ghana, Thailand, China, and Vanuatu. Talk presented at CogSci 2020 (virtual meeting) and included in the Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [link]

  3. Weisman, K., Dweck, C.S., & Markman, E.M. (2018). Folk philosophy of mind: Changes in conceptual structure between 4-9y of age. Talk presented at CogSci 2018 (Madison, WI) and included in the Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [link]

  4. Powell, D., Weisman, K., & Markman, E.M. (2018). Articulating lay theories through graphical models: A study of beliefs surrounding vaccination decisions. Talk presented at CogSci 2018 (Madison, WI) and included in the Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [link]

  5. Weisman, K., Dweck, C.S., & Markman, E.M. (2017). Children’s intuitions about the structure of mental life. Talk presented at CogSci 2017 (London, UK) and included in the Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [link]

  6. Weisman, K., Dweck, C.S., & Markman, E.M. (2016). Varieties of experience: A new look at folk philosophy of mind. Talk presented at CogSci 2016 (Philadelphia, PA) and included in the Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [link]

  7. Weisman, K., Markman, E.M., & Dweck, C.S. (2015). Reasoning about sentience and animacy: Children’s and adults’ inferences about the properties of unseen entities. Talk presented at CogSci 2015 (Pasadena, CA) and included in the Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [link]

Other (Recent) Posters & Presentations

  1. Weisman, K., (2021, July). Intuitive theories of emotion: Insights from developmental and cultural comparisons. Talk presented as part of the “Interdisciplinary Advances in Affective Cognition” pre-conference workshop, prior to the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, virtual meeting.

  2. Weisman, K., Legare, C.H., & Luhrmann, T.M. (2020, July). The development of conceptual representations of mental life in five cultural contexts. Talk presented as part of the “Cognition, Collectives, and Human Culture” pre-conference workshop, prior to the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, virtual meeting. [video]

  3. Weisman, K., Legare, C.H., & Luhrmann, T.M. (2019, March). Beliefs about the mental lives of supernatural beings: A cross-cultural comparison. Talk presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Baltimore, MD.