Article first published online: 20 DEC 2006
© 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 10, Issue 1, pages 121–125, January 2007
How to Cite
Tomasello, M. and Carpenter, M. (2007), Shared intentionality. Developmental Science, 10: 121–125. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2007.00573.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2006
We argue for the importance of processes of shared intentionality in children's early cognitive development. We look briefly at four important social-cognitive skills and how they are transformed by shared intentionality. In each case, we look first at a kind of individualistic version of the skill – as exemplified most clearly in the behavior of chimpanzees – and then at a version based on shared intentionality – as exemplified most clearly in the behavior of human 1- and 2-year-olds. We thus see the following transformations: gaze following into joint attention, social manipulation into cooperative communication, group activity into collaboration, and social learning into instructed learning. We conclude by highlighting the role that shared intentionality may play in integrating more biologically based and more culturally based theories of human development.