Current Issue

Vol. 45, Number 1, Winter 2024

What Can the Side-Effect Effect Teach Us about How Intentionality Is Attributed to Individuals with a Psychiatric Disorder? 
Christopher Papadopoulos, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

The side-effect effect (SEE) is the phenomenon whereby intentionality is more likely to be attributed to agents who bring about negatively valenced as opposed to positively valenced side-effects. The primary aim of the present series of studies was to examine whether the SEE would remain robust for judgments involving moral agents with a psychiatric disorder. A secondary aim was to provide a test of competing theoretical explanations of the SEE including the rational scientist model (Uttich and Lombrozo, 2010) and intuitive moralist accounts (Knobe, 2003a). This series of studies used psychiatric diagnostic labels to manipulate the norms participants applied to agents when judging intentionality. Intentionality ratings remained insensitive to normative information when agents were described as having a psychiatric disorder (Experiment 1a), when agents were also described as having an organic medical disorder that affected their behaviour (Experiment 1b), when the psychiatric norms were explicitly stipulated (Experiment 1c), and when participants with relative expertise in psychiatric norms were tested (Experiment 2). Taken together, the findings of this series of studies were more consistent with intuitive moralist accounts than the rational scientist model. Importantly, these studies extend the SEE to a novel paradigm and provide a demonstration of the robustness of the effect in the context of psychiatric diagnoses and the judgments of individuals with relative clinical expertise.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Christopher Papadopoulos, Ph.D., School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Email:

‘Pataphysics and ‘Pataphors: A Dialectical Approach
Timo Airaksinen, University of Helsinki

I explain the main concepts of ‘pataphysics and apply them to ‘pataphors. The creator of ‘pataphysics, Alfred Jarry, characterizes his new science: ‘Pataphysics is as far from metaphysics as metaphysics is from physics, and ‘pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions. All this must be understood before we move to ‘pataphors, which represent a novel way of handling metaphors, schematically: Basis > Metaphorization > ‘Pataphor. We use the newly created metaphor to describe the facts of a novel world, which form the ‘pataphor in question. In this way, a ‘pataphor uses a metaphorical similarity as a reality with which to base itself. I suggest that we approach ‘pataphors dialectically, starting from a particular ‘pataphor instead of the basis: ‘Patamoment > ‘Pataphor > Metaphorization > Basis. I illustrate all this by starting from the memory of a love story that leads us through its metaphorization back to the basic scene on a street corner in Turku. I explain in detail how a ‘pataphor is created by means of the dialectical approach. Note, the original approach allows the basis to creat

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Professor Timo Airaksinen, Department of Politics and Economics/Practical Philosophy, University of Helsinki, PL 24 (Unioninkatu 40 A), Fl-00014 HY Finland. Email:

The Spontaneous Transcendental Out-of-Body Experience: A Beneficial Absorption Response to Threat
Robert A. King, The NDE OBE Research Project

The perceived out-of-body experience (OBE) is a state of altered consciousness in which one has the impression of being consciously separated from the physical body. The location of this presumed disembodiment can be perceived as being either somewhere on Earth (often, but not always, in the vicinity of the physical body) or in some otherworldly place (such as having ventured into a paradisiacal or hellish environment). The latter can be referred to as a transcendental perceived OBE, which might also be qualified as a neardeath experience (NDE) when it occurs during presumed life-threatening or near-death situations, and is the focus of this theoretical discussion. This paper postulates that such an experience, when spontaneous, is frequently initiated as an adaptive absorption response to brain-interpreted danger or threat and is meant to increase the probability for physical survival and wellbeing. The paper further suggests that the phenomenon accomplishes this by boosting the will to live and survive as a brain-induced simulated scenario with purposeful and beneficial psychological and physiological effects.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Robert A. King, M.A. Psych, Ord. Min., c/o Institute of Mind and Behavior, PO Box 522, Village Station, New York, New York 10014. Email:

Connecting the Theoretical, the Personal, and the Ethical in Psychology: George Kelly and Emmanuel Levinas
Edwin E. Gantt, Brigham Young University
Jeffrey L. Thayne, Brigham Young University–Idaho
Madeline R. Garrett, Brigham Young University

George Kelly’s personal construct psychology has proven popular among many psychologists because of the unique way in which it blends both elements of a postmodern, constructivist philosophy with elements of a modernist, scientific philosophy. However, Kelly’s theory offers little in the way of substantive guidance for how we might understand moral judgment, moral action, and responsibility. That is, although Kelly’s theory seems to escape the dangers of epistemological relativism, it still engenders the potential for moral relativism because it fails to provide adequate tools for addressing genuinely ethical questions. We argue that the ethical phenomenology of the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas provides a compelling account of how ethical responsibility can be found in the raw datum of lived-experience, rather than in the processes of mental construction, and in so doing provides a way for psychologists to more fruitfully address ethical questions from the perspective of Kelly’s personal construct theory.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Edwin E. Gantt, 1086 KMBL, Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602. Email:

What Is Mind and What Happens to It When We Die?
Wilson C. Hurley, George Mason University

Science often advances only when a preferred theory is overturned by new evidence that cannot be explained within the existing theoretical perspective. This article explores material versus non-material theories of the mind within the context of research and logic. It questions aspects of the materialist model and emphasizes a research-based exploration of non-material views of mind, including a brief overview of Buddhist psychology. Questions are raised as to the accuracy of the materialist model and the author proposes that researchers consider all reasonable theories about the nature of the mind rather than holding a bias towards a primarily materialist view.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Wilson C. Hurley, LCSW, George Mason University, Department of Social Work, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030. E-mail: