Most people don’t have answers to the big questions about consciousness or the meaning of life, but they do have a way of thinking about and categorizing mental life. It comes down to three things – body, heart and mind.
When Stanford researchers asked people to think about the sensations and emotions of inanimate or non-human entities, they got a glimpse into how those people think about mental life.
What they found is that Americans break mental life into three parts – body, heart and mind – a finding that challenges earlier research on this topic and could have important implications for understanding people’s social interactions and moral judgments. The findings were published Oct. 11 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.