Towards a mechanistic account of the psychology of groups: Basic theoretical models and empirical tests of the psychology underlying racial categorization.
The cognitive revolution can be understood as a commitment to describing psychological processes as mechanistically as possible, without intervention from an intentional agent or homunculus. This talk presents an overview of a research program committed to describing the psychology of groups in this way. Two primary veins of research will be described: First, a body of work will be presented that suggests we may have discovered the function of the cognitive mechanisms responsible for producing the phenomenon of racial categorization. Second, a task analysis will be presented that describes the invariances of n-person conflict and suggests a way to define the construct “group” in purely mechanistic terms.