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Lecture 11

PSYCH211 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: 18 Months

Course Code
Mathieu Le Corre

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1: -people’s actions are a function of what they believe
-5 months: see hand motion as goal-directed
-12 months: can see motion of abstract objects as goal directed, but only if objects are moving on their
-we need very little social interaction to get to this understanding of goals
-if the concept of goals is needed by social interactions, we don’t need much of it to learn
-infants quickly generalize from human-like things to all self-propelled objects as having goals
-in hand example, babies SEE the goal of an action
-In ball example, babies have to INFER the goal of an action
-ex. able to guess a person’s goal through their action without the goal being achieved yet (ex. seeing
someone running in the direction of the bus, you can infer that he is rushing to catch the bus)
-without having seen the red ball catching the small blue ball, the baby can infer/guess the goal of the
red ball trying to catch the blue ball (infer the goal of an incomplete action)
-experimenter makes it look like he’s trying to remove one of the cubes from the end of the cylinder
-is the baby thinking “he’s just squeezing it and slipping” or is the baby thinking “he is trying to
remove the cube
-when babies are given the cylinder with cubes, a lot of them grab the end that the guy is pulling
on and remove the cube
-PROBLEM: maybe the baby would pull on it anyways
-SOLUTION: showed the baby the cylinder without and previous action/demonstration of trying
to pull it off; in this case, the babies’ don’t try to remove the cube since they haven’t first seen
the experimenter doing it
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-by 18 months, humans are fully coordinating if they want to
-concepts/knowledge of the world must also be already in place (knowing that closets are
meant to put books into, knowing that closet doors can be opened, etc.)
-5 months: can see actions as goal directed
-18 months: infer the goals of actions even though the goals have not been completed
-can help others complete goals they cannot complete on their own
-might know in general actions are goal directed, but might still be hard to guess what the actual goal of
a person’s actions is
-knowing about beliefs in general is not the same as knowing what your particular beliefs are
-infants think of the world as they see it
-Lynette has a false belief; there is something in her head that doesn’t correspond with the world as ist
is (she believes Tom is cheating on her when he really is just trying to protect it)
-babies are able to predict goals on the basis of information available in the situation itself
-the situation outside Lynette isn’t enough to understand why she’s crying
-the major property of beliefs is that it can be true or false
-I can believe things that are false (ex. I believe my husband is cheating on me)
-in the case of the hand reaching for the ball, the red ball chasing the blue ball, and the experimenter
pulling on the little cube, you don’t have to think for a second how these creatures understand their
world; you just have to look at it and you know
-but in the case of Lynette, to understand why she’s crying, you can’t just look at the world as it
is, you have to take into account what she believes to understand why she’s crying
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