Folk Theories of Artifact Creation: How Intuitions About Human Labor Influence the Value of Artifacts

Judge, M., Fernando, J. W., Paladino, A. & Kashima, Y., 1-Aug-2020, In : Personality and Social Psychology review. 24, 3, p. 195-211 17 p.

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What are the consequences of lay beliefs about how things are made? In this article, we describe a Western folk theory of artifact creation, highlighting how intuitive dualism regarding mental and physical labor (i.e., folk psychology) can lead to the perceived transmission of properties from makers to material artifacts (i.e., folk physics), and affect people’s interactions with material artifacts. We show how this folk theory structures the conceptual domain of material artifacts by differentiating the contemporary lay concepts of art/craft and industrial production, and how it influences people’s evaluations of different types of artifacts and their makers. We propose that the folk theory and lay concepts of art/craft and industrial production are best understood within a specific sociohistorical context, and review potential sources of cross-cultural and cross-temporal variation. We conclude by making recommendations for future research and examining the implications for promoting environmental sustainability and social justice in production systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-211
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology review
Issue number3
Early online date28-Feb-2020
Publication statusPublished - 1-Aug-2020


  • folk theories, material artefacts, organizing framework, culture, sustainability, DECISION CONSIDERATIONS, MATERIALISTIC VALUES, SELF, PERCEPTIONS, MIND, ART, AUTHENTICITY, OWNERSHIP, PROPERTY, BEHAVIOR

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