Cooperation and Communication in the 2nd Year of Life


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concerning this article should be addressed to Michael Tomasello, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany; e-mail:


ABSTRACT—Although primates have evolved complex cognitive skills and strategies for competing with others in their social group, only humans have developed complex cognitive skills and motivations for collaborating with one another in joint endeavors. This cooperative dimension of human cognition emerges most clearly around the first birthday as children begin to collaborate and communicate with joint intentions and joint attention. This collaboration is also grounded in social motivations for helping and sharing with others that are unique to humans. In using the skills of shared intentionality that underlie these cooperative interactions, 1-year-olds come to create perspectival cognitive representations.