Can a self-propelled box have a goal? - Psychological reasoning in 5-month-old infants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Some researchers have suggested that infants' ability to reason about goals develops as a result of their experiences with human agents and is then gradually extended to other agents. Other researchers have proposed that goal attribution is rooted in a specialized system of reasoning that is activated whenever infants encounter entities with appropriate features (e.g., self-propulsion). The first view predicts that young infants should attribute goals to human but not other agents; the second view predicts that young infants should attribute goals to both human and nonhuman agents. The present research revealed that 5-month-old infants (the youngest found thus far to attribute goals to human agents) also attribute goals to nonhuman agents. In two experiments, infants interpreted the actions of a self-propelled box as goal-directed. These results provide support for the view that from an early age, infants attribute goals to any entity they identify as an agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-608
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005

Fingerprint

Psychology
Research Personnel
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Can a self-propelled box have a goal? - Psychological reasoning in 5-month-old infants. / Luo, Yuyan; Baillargeon, Renée.

In: Psychological Science, Vol. 16, No. 8, 01.08.2005, p. 601-608.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ca2d0e11d5eb47318220898843a7c984,
title = "Can a self-propelled box have a goal? - Psychological reasoning in 5-month-old infants",
abstract = "Some researchers have suggested that infants' ability to reason about goals develops as a result of their experiences with human agents and is then gradually extended to other agents. Other researchers have proposed that goal attribution is rooted in a specialized system of reasoning that is activated whenever infants encounter entities with appropriate features (e.g., self-propulsion). The first view predicts that young infants should attribute goals to human but not other agents; the second view predicts that young infants should attribute goals to both human and nonhuman agents. The present research revealed that 5-month-old infants (the youngest found thus far to attribute goals to human agents) also attribute goals to nonhuman agents. In two experiments, infants interpreted the actions of a self-propelled box as goal-directed. These results provide support for the view that from an early age, infants attribute goals to any entity they identify as an agent.",
author = "Yuyan Luo and Ren{\'e}e Baillargeon",
year = "2005",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01582.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "16",
pages = "601--608",
journal = "Psychological Science",
issn = "0956-7976",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Can a self-propelled box have a goal? - Psychological reasoning in 5-month-old infants

AU - Luo, Yuyan

AU - Baillargeon, Renée

PY - 2005/8/1

Y1 - 2005/8/1

N2 - Some researchers have suggested that infants' ability to reason about goals develops as a result of their experiences with human agents and is then gradually extended to other agents. Other researchers have proposed that goal attribution is rooted in a specialized system of reasoning that is activated whenever infants encounter entities with appropriate features (e.g., self-propulsion). The first view predicts that young infants should attribute goals to human but not other agents; the second view predicts that young infants should attribute goals to both human and nonhuman agents. The present research revealed that 5-month-old infants (the youngest found thus far to attribute goals to human agents) also attribute goals to nonhuman agents. In two experiments, infants interpreted the actions of a self-propelled box as goal-directed. These results provide support for the view that from an early age, infants attribute goals to any entity they identify as an agent.

AB - Some researchers have suggested that infants' ability to reason about goals develops as a result of their experiences with human agents and is then gradually extended to other agents. Other researchers have proposed that goal attribution is rooted in a specialized system of reasoning that is activated whenever infants encounter entities with appropriate features (e.g., self-propulsion). The first view predicts that young infants should attribute goals to human but not other agents; the second view predicts that young infants should attribute goals to both human and nonhuman agents. The present research revealed that 5-month-old infants (the youngest found thus far to attribute goals to human agents) also attribute goals to nonhuman agents. In two experiments, infants interpreted the actions of a self-propelled box as goal-directed. These results provide support for the view that from an early age, infants attribute goals to any entity they identify as an agent.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=24644483296&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=24644483296&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01582.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01582.x

M3 - Article

C2 - 16102062

AN - SCOPUS:24644483296

VL - 16

SP - 601

EP - 608

JO - Psychological Science

JF - Psychological Science

SN - 0956-7976

IS - 8

ER -