Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Bertram F. Malle

Bertram F. Malle

Bertram F. Malle was trained in psychology, philosophy, and linguistics at the University of Graz, Austria, and received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University in 1995. Between 1994 and 2008 he was Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon and served there as Director of the Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences from 2001 to 2007.

Since September 2008, he has been Professor of Psychology in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University. He received the 1995 Society of Experimental Social Psychology Dissertation Award and a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 1997. He was President of the Society of Philosophy and Psychology in 2009/2010. Author of over 70 articles and chapters, he also co-edited three published volumes: Intentions and Intentionality (2001, MIT Press), The Evolution of Language Out of Pre-Language (2002, Benjamins), and Other Minds (2005, Guilford), and he authored the monograph How the Mind Explains Behavior (2004, MIT Press). His current book project is entitled Social Cognitive Science.

Primary Interests:

  • Causal Attribution
  • Communication, Language
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Person Perception
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:


Journal Articles:

  • Guglielmo, S., & Malle, B. F. (2010). Can unintended side--effects be intentional? Resolving a controversy over intentionality and morality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1635-1647.
  • Guglielmo, S., & Malle, B. F. (2010). Enough skill to kill: Intentionality judgments and the moral valence of action. Cognition, 117, 139-150.
  • Guglielmo, S., Monroe, A. E., & Malle, B. F. (2009). At the heart of morality lies folk psychology. Inquiry, 52, 449-466.
  • Malle, B. F. (2011). Time to give up the dogmas of attribution: An alternative theory of behavior explanation. Advances of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 297-352.
  • Malle, B. F. (2008). Fritz Heider’s legacy: Celebrated insights, many of them misunderstood. Social Psychology, 39, 163-173.
  • Malle, B. F. (2006). The actor-observer asymmetry in causal attribution: A (surprising) meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 895-919.
  • Malle, B. F. (1999). How people explain behavior: A new theoretical framework. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 23-48.
  • Malle, B. F., & Holbrook, J. (in press). Is there a hierarchy of social inferences? The likelihood and speed of inferring intentionality, mind, and personality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
  • Malle, B. F., & Knobe, J. (1997). The folk concept of intentionality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 33, 101-121.
  • Malle, B. F., Knobe, J., & Nelson, S. (2007). Actor-observer asymmetries in behavior explanations: New answers to an old question. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 491-514.
  • Malle, B. F., Knobe, J., O’Laughlin, M., Pearce, G. E., & Nelson, S. E. (2000). Conceptual structure and social functions of behavior explanations: Beyond person-situation attributions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 309-326.
  • Malle, B. F., & Nelson, S. E. (2003). Judging mens rea: The tension between folk concepts and legal concepts of intentionality. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 21, 563-580.
  • Malle, B. F., & Pearce, G. E. (2001). Attention to behavioral events during social interaction: Two actor-observer gaps and three attempts to close them. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 278-294.
  • Monroe, A. E., & Malle, B. F. (2010). From uncaused will to conscious choice: The need to study, not speculate about, people’s folk concept of free will. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 1, 211-224.
  • O’Laughlin, M. J., &. Malle, B. F. (2002). How people explain actions performed by groups and individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 33-48.

Other Publications:

  • Malle, B. F. (2008). The fundamental tools, and possibly universals, of social cognition. In R. Sorrentino & S. Yamaguchi (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition across cultures (pp. 267-296). New York: Elsevier/Academic Press.
  • Malle, B. F. (2005). Folk theory of mind: Conceptual foundations of human social cognition. In R. Hassin, J. S. Uleman, & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), The new unconscious. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Malle, B. F., & Guglielmo, S. (in press). Are intentionality judgments fundamentally moral? In C. Mackenzie and R. Langdon (Eds.), Emotions and moral reasoning (Macquarie Monographs in Cognitive Science) (pp. 275-293). Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.

Courses Taught:

Bertram F. Malle
Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences
Metcalf Research Laboratory
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island 02912
United States of America

  • Phone: (401) 863-6820

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