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Bertram F. Malle

Bertram Malle is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Cognitive and Decision Sciences at the University of Oregon. He is the editor of Intentions and Intentionality: Foundations of Social Cognition (MIT Press, 2001).

Titles by This Author

Folk Explanations, Meaning, and Social Interaction

In this provocative monograph, Bertram Malle describes behavior explanations as having a dual nature—as being both cognitive and social acts—and proposes a comprehensive theoretical model that integrates the two aspects. When people try to understand puzzling human behavior, they construct behavior explanations, which are a fundamental tool of social cognition. But, Malle argues, behavior explanations exist not only in the mind; they are also overt verbal actions used for social purposes.

Titles by This Editor

Foundations of Social Cognition

Social interaction requires social cognition—the ability to perceive, interpret, and explain the actions of others. This ability fundamentally relies on the concepts of intention and intentionality. For example, people distinguish sharply between intentional and unintentional behavior; identify the intentions underlying others' behavior; explain completed actions with reference to intentions, beliefs, and desires; and evaluate the social worth of actions using the concepts of intentionality and responsibility.