Six- and 9-Month-Old Infants Discriminate Between Goals Despite Similar Action Patterns


should be sent to Heidi Marsh, Department of Psychology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M3J 1P3. E-mail:


Behne, Carpenter, Call, and Tomasello (2005) showed that 9- to 18-month-olds, but not 6-month-olds, differentiated between people who were unwilling and unable to share toys. As the outcome of the two tasks is the same (i.e., the toy is not shared), the infants must respond to the different goals of the actor. However, visual habituation paradigms have shown an earlier onset of goal awareness. The present study reconciles this disparity by replicating the findings of Behne et al. with both 6- and 9-month-olds, using similar tasks and additional response measures.