Strategies for the inference of mental states: Projection and stereotyping

Tatsunori Ishii, Masanori Takezawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been argued that people selectively use two strategies, projection and stereotyping, to infer the mental state of others. Through a series of studies, Ames (2004) confirmed the hypothesis that people project their own mental state to the other when the target person is perceived to be similar to oneself, while the stereotype of a group or category to which the target person belongs is used for mental state inferences when the target is perceived to be dissimilar. Four replication studies of Ames (2004), however, consistently provided counterevidence against this hypothesis. Participants employed projection consistently, regardless of the perceived similarity to the target person. This result suggests that further examination of conditions that trigger different mental state inference strategies is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Projection
  • Stereotyping
  • mental state inference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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