- Mechanisms of social cognition:
- 1. contingency detection
- 2. imitation
- 3. gaze monitoring
- 4. social referencing
- 5. joint attention
- 6. assume intentionality in spatio-temporal dynamics
- 7. false belief
- 8. attribute mental causes (intentions etc )to goal-directed behaviour of others
Social-cognitive development is broadly the development of ___.
- Naive psychology
- understanding that others have minds different to theirs
Experiment about social contingencies.
- 1-3month babies
- Normal condition - face-to-face
- Non-contingent - act out previous interaction carried out over headphones
- imitation - mirror expressions of infant
- 1 month olds showed same reactionsbut 2-3 mo reliably gazed more in imitation conditon and smiled more in normal condition
- Suggests developmental transition in sensitivity to social contingencies
Imitation. Who is famous for work on imitation and why is imitation important in socio-cognitive development.
- Imitation requires mapping actions of other people onto own bodies
- Infant's own experiences of goal-directed behaviour helps make sense of other's behaviours and their actions can be imbued with goal-directedness
Meltzoff's experiment about imitation?
- Baby supported in infant seat - experimenter modelled behaviour --> would babies imitate?
- eg. tongue protrusion, lip pursing
- Use of darkness so that other cues not visible
Imitation work is controversial a bit. Why?
- Imitation from birth? - Failures to replicate
- It could be that infants are simply responding to movement
Gaze following and monitoring. Experiments and arguments.
- 1. Still face paradigm - mother adopt 'still face' during playful interaction - react to disruption in inter-personal contingency by being upset and avoiding gaze.
- 2. by 2 months (Scaife & Bruner)
- 3. BUT: some argue this is simply conditioned learning --> when mother turns head, something interesting is likely to be occurrign in that direction
- 4. However: Brooks & Meltzoff showed that infants will not follow gaze if mother turned head with eyes closed. Infants selecting in their gaze following behaviour. BUT this came about after only 10months.
Social referencing. Experiments and points.
- 1. appraising of situation based on emotional expressions and behaviours of others.
- 2. 2 explanations: a) mentalistic interpretation of reaction of other b) interpreting the display simply as signal
- 3. Visual cliff paradigm - transparent glass creates an illusion of cliff but actually can crawl across (initally by Gibson & Walk)
- 4. Later studies - babies will crawl if mother made happy face, whereas they won't if they made fearful face
- 5. recent studies - look at time taken to cross drop. Vocal reinforcement found to be important (quickest when face + voice combined) (Vaish & Striano)
Joint attention. Major points.
- 1. 2 types of pointing a) protoimperative (to obtain object) b) protodeclarative (remark on something - for joint attention)
- 2. protodeclerative seems to involve higher, mentalistic level of communication
- 3. Carpenter et al - longitudinal - protodeclarative comes abou 8-12m; but protoimperative about 14m
- 4. But - are protodeclarative pointing really intentionally communicative acts? Liszkowski et al - yes. 12-month old babies more pointing if reward is not gained and adult does not look at what they are pointing at.
- 5. Simon Baron-Cohen - protodeclarative pointing is early indication of ToM
- 6. also base for turn-taking behaviour that is foundation of social interaction
Sensory system primed to assume intentionality in spatio-temporal dynamics. Major points.
- 1. Simple motion cues may provide foundation for physical causal understanding and for social cognition (intentionality) (Michotte)
- 2. Gergely et al - 12-month olds - little ball pulsates, then big ball does. then little ball approaches, and jumps over block in between them. Infant habituated. Afterwards, infants look more at display which shows small circle jumping up even though this time there is no block to jump over - puzzling.
False beliefs. Major points.
- 1. Dennett: successful reasoning about false beliefs only convincing evidence for attribution of mental states to others - because action of agent not based on observable aspects of reality
- 2. Experiment: hide object in location. Protagonist leaves. Object moved to another location. A person who understands false belief will understand that the protagonist will search the wrong place first, even though the person knows it is not there.
- 3. Onishi & Baillargeon: 15-month infants
- adapted so that infants' looking time was measured
- protagonist place toy in green or yellow box, then belief induction trial. False belief condition - twatched as toy moved location to yellow box; true belief condition - actor and infant both watched as it was moved.
- Infants look longer when protagnosists reaches inside the green box (which is empty) as this is violation of expectation in terms of what they expect the protagonist to believe.
- O & B argue this was rudimentary representational theory of mind in 15m infants
Infants attribute mental causes for goal-directed behaviour in others and take context into account. Points.
- 1. Tomasello - differential imitation of same action because of changes in context. Displayed toy mouse which hops. Then given the mouse to put in house, infants do not make it hop because it is irrelevant taking it to the house. However, when goal of mouse is unclear (from instructions) they make it hop. (from 12m but increases in 18m)
- 2. Differentiate between intended and accidental acts. Carpenter et al - infants (14-18m) watch as adults take part in 2-part action that makes interesting things happen to novel stimuli. Either followed by 'There' or 'whoops'. Infants almost 2x as likely to imitate intended acts.
- 3. Distinguish between adult unwilling and adult unable to give infant toy. (Behne et al)
- Adult unwilling - baby will reach more, bang on table, withhold eye contact
- Adult unable - reach less and maintain eye contact