Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Understanding Other MindsPerspectives from developmental social neuroscience$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Simon Baron-Cohen, Michael Lombardo, and Helen Tager-Flusberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692972.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 January 2019

Learning about the mind from evidence

Learning about the mind from evidence

Children’s development of intuitive theories of perception and personality

(p.19) Chapter 2 Learning about the mind from evidence
Understanding Other Minds

Andrew N. Meltzoff

Alison Gopnik

Oxford University Press

Where does our understanding of the mind come from? Here we focus on developmental plasticity and argue for a theory-theory account of children’s reasoning about the mind. Two examples are analyzed in depth: infants’ understanding of other people’s visual perspectives and children’s understanding of personality traits. In both we show that providing children particular patterns of evidence—whether about their own experience or about the behavior of others—leads them to create novel and systematic models of the mind. In both cases the idea of a “Bayesian framework principle” is invoked as a formal model of developmental change. It is argued that despite a shared initial state, key aspects of mental life vary in the myriad cultural, physical, and virtual environments human beings create. We show that theory-like inferential abilities, applied to conspecifics’ psychology, is particularly valuable for adapting to, and indeed thriving in that sort of social world.

Keywords:   Mental state attribution, gaze-following, personality traits, Like-me framework, the theory-theory, mechanisms of developmental change

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .