Friday, December 3, 2021 at 3:00pm to 5:00pm
USC School of Philosophy
Henrike Moll (USC, website), "Shared Intentionality: From Joint Attention to Increasingly Complex Forms of Perspective-Taking"
In my talk, I will trace milestones of early social-cognitive development from the perspective of shared intentionality theory. Our studies show that joint attention at age 1 is an important entry gate into other people’s minds. When in joint attention with others, infants are better able to discern what objects others have and have not experienced than when outside of joint attention. By the age of 2 to 3 years, toddlers can take others’ visual and epistemic perspectives, at least when directly interacting with them. For example, 3-year-olds know when another person sees an object in a different color than they do. At the same age, children can anticipate the surprise of someone who is approaching reality with false expectations. Although many of these studies reveal an early competence in perspective-taking, systematic limitations have also been identified. The developmental pathway leads from acts of joint attention to increasingly explicit forms of perspective-taking over ontogenetic time.