Seeing minds, matter, and meaning

New paper from our friend Dr. Matthew Lieberman:


Although subjective construal (i.e., our personal understanding of situations and the people and objects within them) has been an enduring topic in social psychology, its underlying mechanisms have never been fully explored. This review presents subjective construals as a kind of seeing (i.e., pre-reflective processes associated with effortless meaning-making). Three distinct forms of “seeing” (visual, semantic, and psychological) are discussed to highlight the breadth of these construals. The CEEing model characterizes these distinct domains of pre-reflective construals as all being Coherent Effortless Experiences associated with lateral posterior parietal cortex, lateral posterior temporal cortex, tempororoparietal junction, and ventral temporal cortex in an area dubbed gestalt cortex. The link between subjective construals and gestalt cortex is further strengthened by evidence showing that when people have similar subjective construals (i.e., they see things similarly) they show greater neural synchrony (i.e., correlated neural fluctuations over time) with each other in gestalt cortex. The fact that the act of CEEing tends to inhibit alternative construals is discussed as one of the multiple reasons why we fail to appreciate the idiosyncratic nature of our pre-reflective construals, leading to naïve realism and other conflict-inducing outcomes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

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